Lincoln, Neb.: The Nebraska Legislature last week approved a 12-week abortion ban and restrictions on gender-affirming care for people younger than 19 in a move so contentious that lawmakers on both sides have said they may be unable to work together in the future.
Conservative lawmakers called in a visibly ill colleague so they would have enough votes to end a filibuster and pass a bill with both measures. Republican Gov. Jim Pillen, who pushed for the bill, has promised to sign it into law.
The mood in the Nebraska Capitol has been volatile since lawmakers advanced by a single vote the hybrid measure that ties together restrictions that Republicans have pursued across the U.S. One lawmaker, Omaha state Sen. Megan Hunt, disclosed in March that her teenage son is transgender and said Friday that she now plans to leave the state.
North Carolina also passed a 12-week abortion ban last week, among a slew of restrictions enacted in states after the U.S. Supreme Court last year struck down the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that established a nationwide right to abortion. Fourteen states now have bans throughout pregnancy.
Nebraska, however, had not passed new restrictions while continuing to prohibit abortion starting around 20 weeks of pregnancy. The 12-week ban includes exceptions for rape, incest and to save the life of the mother.
The bill also would prevent transgender people under 19 from receiving any gender-confirming surgery.