In a landmark move for the Cornhusker State, Nebraska’s Republican Governor Jim Pillen signed into law a bill that prohibits transgender surgeries for those below the age of 18 and restricts most abortions after the 12-week mark.
Nebraska now joins the ranks as the 18th state to enact laws prohibiting transgender procedures on children, the Daily Wire reported.
This significant decision follows a tumultuous week at the capitol building in Lincoln, where several protesters were arrested during the legislature's Friday session.
“Today is a historic day in the State of Nebraska. It is a day where we are standing up and protecting our kids so that they can have a better and brighter future,” Pillen stated, lauding the bill, christened the “Let Them Grow Act.”
The Act, passed with a 33-15 majority in the state legislature, symbolizes the most considerable victory for social conservatives in a generation. It supersedes the failed attempt to ban abortion at six weeks, which fell short by a single vote. The current 12-week ban mirrors similar legislation enacted by North Carolina Republicans last week and signifies the first abortion ban passed in Nebraska in 13 years.
Nebraska follows in the footsteps of other Republican-led states — Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida — in prohibiting transgender surgeries for minors, including mastectomies for girls identifying as boys.
Simultaneously, Missouri and Texas are propelling similar measures forward, expected to be signed into law later this year. Legislators in North and South Carolina are considering analogous proposals.
Nebraska Sen. Joni Albrecht echoed the sentiment of protection, saying, "Every human being has a right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. I look forward to the day when every child is protected from conception from elective abortions in the State of Nebraska."
Though the law doesn't directly ban procedures like cross-sex hormones or puberty blockers for children, it provides the state’s chief medical officer, a gubernatorial appointee, the authority to regulate them.
Meanwhile, critics like Rush Chipman, director of the ACLU of Nebraska, argue that the law could potentially damage "vulnerable communities" and vowed to explore every avenue, including litigation, to counteract these measures.