Nebraska’s newly passed abortion, trans minor care bill sparks political reactions

Published: May. 19, 2023 at 5:57 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - Nebraska officials, advocates, activists, and politicians made their stances known after the Legislature passed the session’s most contentious bill on Friday.

LB574, which bans gender-affirming care for minors, passed Friday afternoon along with AM1658 and its emergency clause, which means the new abortion law will go into effect as soon as Gov. Jim Pillen signs the bill.

Once that happens, abortions would be prohibited after 12 weeks from the last period; current Nebraska law allows abortions up to 20 weeks.

Nebraska bill banning gender-affirming care for minors passes

Nebraska lawmakers passed the session’s most contentious bill on Friday afternoon.

Nebraska lawmakers cast their votes on the final reading of LB574, the bill to ban...
Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen
Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen(press release)

“All children deserve a chance to grow and live happy, fruitful lives. This includes pre-born boys and girls, and it includes children struggling with their gender identity. These kids deserve the opportunity to grow and explore who they are and want to be, and they can do so without making irreversible decisions that should be made when they are fully grown.”


“A ban is a ban, plain and simple. Banning abortion after 12 weeks denies a person the fundamental right to control their own body and health care decisions. The goal of the abortion ban and the gender affirming care ban, as with all bans, is to stop people from accessing essential health care and to take away people’s power over their own bodies, lives, and futures.

Every person deserves the right to control their bodies and their futures. Today’s bans will create a devastating new reality in Nebraska, and I am very sad for the patients and families who will be impacted.”

Andi Curry Grubb, executive director, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Nebraska

“These bans will have devastating consequences for people in Nebraska and throughout the region who have relied on this state for care.

In one fell swoop, lawmakers have voted to outlaw abortion and gender-affirming care, making clear that their political interests are more important than the health and safety of their own constituents. People will now be forced to flee their state to get access to abortion, or be forced to carry pregnancies to term against their will. Young families who cannot access life-saving gender-affirming care may be forced to move with their families.

While this is a heartbreaking end to a difficult fight, we thank the reproductive and LGBTQ+ rights activists who showed up to make their voices heard throughout the legislative session. Planned Parenthood will never turn its back on patients as they seek essential health care in Nebraska and across the country, and we will never stop fighting for their right to control their own bodies, lives, and future.”

Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America


“We rallied with Nebraska Senators to protect our more children from becoming prey to the gender reassignment and abortion industries. Today, we achieved victory!

LB574, known as the ‘Let Them Grow Act,’ will be heading to the Governor’s desk! This was a monumental day to reverse the tide of losing children and begin to move the state government back into the job of protecting the innocent life of all citizens.

We are grateful to Senator Kauth for sponsoring this bill. We appreciate the support of many others that helped us reach this crucial milestone! We are also grateful to Senator Hansen for his hard work in limiting abortions across Nebraska.

This WINNING moment results from our unified fight against ideologies that are destructive, divisive, and anti-American in nature. We will continue to protect the rights of all Nebraskans regardless of if they agree with us or not. However, we will continue to protect the lives of kids until they are of age to make responsible decisions for themselves with a fully developed mind.

Our fight isn’t over, and there is strength in numbers!”


“Extremists in the legislature decided that the mental health, the economic impact, and the private decisions between a doctor and a patient are not worth protecting, and instead enacted harmful and discriminatory legislation.

Despite the medical community coming out in full opposition. Despite local businesses vocalizing the economic harm and the bill’s acceleration of brain drain. And despite a mobilized movement of supporters across the state, extremists voted against the majority of Nebraskans.

The extremists showed the entire state that they are pro-life in name only since they can’t seem to lift a finger helping kids and families, all they can do is play to the worst of culture wars meant to demean and divide.

We thank the majority of our Democratic Senators for defending the basic human rights of some of the most vulnerable. We now take this fight to the ballot box to hold accountable the extremists who took away the rights women have had for half a century.”

Jane Kleeb, chairwoman, Nebraska Democratic Party


“The Nebraska Stonewall Democrats condemn the legislature’s passing of LB574. LB574 sets a dangerous precedent by dictating what kinds of care trans youth and their families are allowed to access. The abortion amendment endangers the health and livelihoods of countless Nebraskans. This setback is the culmination of both years of attacks on Nebraskans’ bodily autonomy by the Republican Party and the adamant support of Democratic Senator Mike McDonnell. If you are as angry as we are about these unconscionable attacks on our rights, get involved—you can call or write your senator, reach out to the Stonewall Democrats, support Planned Parenthood, or even run for office yourself. Together we can ensure that this setback is only temporary.”


“The Nebraska Democratic Women’s Caucus stands in support of our LGBTQIA friends and family, as well as in support of the rights of all persons to receive whatever healthcare they need or want. We stand in opposition to LB574 and AM1658, as well as any legislation that would discriminate, or take away any person’s bodily autonomy, or parental rights.”


“Friday night, the Nebraska Legislature passed a bill banning gender-affirming care for minors as well as abortion after 12 weeks. LB 574, which now awaits the governor’s decision, is a major setback for bodily autonomy in Nebraska.

The senators who supported this bill have failed to protect the rights of their constituents, prioritizing personal beliefs over the voices of the people they were elected to serve. From initial committee hearings being cut short, to senators dodging personal meetings with concerned families, they have continuously disregarded pleas from families who will be directly impacted by these restrictions.

“They have thrown away the session for nothing,” said OutNebraska Community Organizer Aryn Huck. “Parents are writing to us asking what to do next, worried they may have to uproot their entire lives because of this bill.”

By denying youth access to medically-necessary care, these restrictions undermine their mental health, well-being, and ability to live authentically, making our state a hostile state for young people. “Nebraska should be for everyone,” said Abbi Swatsworth, executive director of OutNebraska. “While today’s outcome is deeply disappointing, it is certainly not the end of our commitment to advocate and support transgender Nebraskans.”

OutNebraska encourages families affected by these restrictions to reach out to healthcare professionals and specialists for guidance and support during this challenging time.”

ACLU of Nebraska

“Senators just voted to deny Nebraskans medically necessary care and to trample their freedom to make decisions about their own lives, families and futures,” said Rush Chipman,” the Interim Executive Director of the ACLU of Nebraska. “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.”