Nebraska’s Republican Gov. Jim Pilsen signed a new state law on Monday that bans abortion at 12 weeks of pregnancy and restricts gender-affirming health care to anyone under the age of 19.
A ban on abortion goes into effect immediately, while a ban on gender confirmation care begins on October 1. The hybrid measure is tied to restrictions that Republicans have sought to enact across the United States.
Pillan called the measure “the most important victory for the conservative social agenda in Nebraska in more than a generation” before signing the law with his two oldest granddaughters, holding a 5-day-old baby.
“It’s about protecting our children and saving children. It’s that simple,” Pillan said.
Critics have vowed to sue in their attempt to block the law. Mindy Rush Chipman, director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Nebraska, said in a statement that “all options are on the table to undo these regressive measures.”
Rush Chipman said, “The governor’s decision to sign these sweeping restrictions into law shows a complete disregard for the liberty, health and welfare of the people of Nebraska.” “As we’ve seen in other states, these restrictions will cause substantial damage, hitting communities that are already vulnerable the hardest.”
Nebraska hadn’t passed a new abortion ban since 2010, when it became the first state to limit the procedure to about 20 weeks into pregnancy. The 12-week ban includes exceptions for rape, incest and saving the life of the mother.
The law would also prevent transgender people under the age of 19 from undergoing any gender confirmation surgery. In Nebraska, people under the age of 19 are considered minors.