LINCOLN, Neb. – Today, Nebraska state senators narrowly overcame a filibuster and approved new restrictions on abortion access and transgender adolescents’ health care.
Hundreds of Nebraskans filled the State Capitol Rotunda ahead of the final vote on LB 574, urging and pleading senators to vote no on the combined ban, chanting "keep your bans off our bodies" and “save our lives.”
The bill now heads to Gov. Jim Pillen’s desk, and Pillen has indicated he will sign it into law.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Nebraska Interim Executive Director Mindy Rush Chipman made this statement on today’s vote:
“Senators just voted to deny Nebraskans medically necessary care and to trample their freedom to make decisions about their own lives, families and futures,” Rush Chipman said. “The consequences of this drastic act of government overreach will be devastating. To be clear, we refuse to accept this as our new normal. This vote will not be the final word. We are actively exploring our options to address the harm of this extreme legislation, and that work will have our team’s full focus. This is not over, not by a long shot.”
LB 574 significantly restricts abortion access, banning care 12 weeks after a patient’s last period, which is 10 weeks postfertilization. The bill contains exceptions for medical emergencies and sexual assault, but no exceptions related to fetal anomalies. The legislation also does not repeal existing criminal penalties on abortion care, thereby potentially subjecting medical providers to felony charges in certain circumstances. The new abortion restrictions will take effect one day after the bill is signed by the governor.
The bill also bans surgical procedures for transgender Nebraskans under 19 years old and tasks Nebraska’s chief medical officer with adopting rules that will determine youth access to nonsurgical gender-related care, including puberty blockers and hormones. After passage, gender-related care restrictions take effect Oct. 1. Youth already receiving this treatment are exempted from new restrictions on nonsurgical care.
The bill’s passage comes at a time when the nation is seeing a record number of bills targeting LGBTQ+ rights. Nationally, LB 574 is one of more than 100 bills introduced this year that focus on limiting LGBTQ+ people’s access to health care. Most are aimed at trans youth.
How They Voted
VOTED FOR BAN
- von Gillern
- Cavanaugh, J.
- Cavanaugh, M.