On Friday, Nebraska state lawmakers passed a bill banning transgender medical care for minors, despite furious objections from protesters and a Democratic lawmaker who chanted in protest on the floor of the chamber.
During her allotted floor time, State Senator Machaela Cavanaugh repeatedly shouted in protest, “Transgender people belong here, we need trans people, we love trans people.”
In March, Cavanaugh embarked on an epic three-week filibuster to oppose the gender-affirming care bill, earning her attention in national media and a coveted profile in Vogue, but also drawing criticism according to which she was blocking all legislative business in Nebraska.
In her remarks on Friday, Cavanaugh vowed she would not give up her fight on behalf of transgender voters, saying, “You matter. You matter and I fight for you. I won’t stop.’
The measure passed prohibits “gender reassignment surgery” and imposes restrictions on hormone therapy for transgender people under the age of 19, as well as a ban on abortions after 12 weeks of gestational age, after the two problems were combined into a single bill.
Nebraska State Senator Machaela Cavanaugh protested the bill banning trans procedures for minors. saying, “Trans people belong here, we need trans people, we love trans people.”
Protesters gathered on Friday to oppose LB574, which limits gender-affirming care for trans youth and bans abortions after 12 weeks’ gestation
Friday’s debate was briefly interrupted when protesters on a bedroom balcony stood up and shouted obscenities at Tory lawmakers while throwing what appeared to be bloody tampons on the floor.
The Nebraska State Patrol cleared both balconies and said at least six people had been arrested.
Authorities confirmed that a state trooper was assaulted during the incident after a woman punched him in the chest as he stopped her from walking past him.
As lawmakers began to vote, hundreds of protesters packed into the Capitol rotunda shouted, “Shame! Shame! Shame! Shame!’ just outside the bedroom.
Hundreds of businesses and medical professionals have signed letters warning that the abortion ban and trans health restrictions will cause businesses and doctors to leave the state.
A letter submitted Friday and signed by more than 1,200 Nebraska medical professionals called the bill “a direct attack on our state’s medical community.”
Senator Kathleen Kauth, who is the author of the Trans Health Measure, has repeatedly referred to an increase in the number of children who identify as transgender as “a social contagion.”
She said the measure was intended to prevent children from doing something they might later regret.
“That doesn’t mean by any stretch of the imagination that we hate them,” she said. “On the contrary: we love them.
Benjamin Buras, 40, and Sara Crawford, 33 (circled) have both been arrested in connection with the incident involving the soldier
Footage circulating on social media shows clashes between police and other protesters outside the chamber including chants of “Shame, shame!” could be heard by voting legislators
Conservative lawmakers appealed to a visibly ill colleague so they would have enough votes to end the filibuster and pass a bill with both measures.
Nebraska’s Republican-dominated single-chamber legislature voted 33 to 15 to pass the bill, known as LB 574. Republican Gov. Jim Pillen, who lobbied for the bill, has promised to sign it.
Nebraska’s 12-week abortion ban includes exceptions for rape, incest, and saving the life of the mother.
Opponents of the measure have unsuccessfully sought an exception for fatal fetal anomalies and to explicitly shield doctors from criminal charges for performing a contested abortion.
The bill will also prevent transgender people under the age of 19 from undergoing gender confirmation surgery. In Nebraska, people under the age of 19 are considered minors.
It would also restrict the use of hormone treatments and puberty blockers in minors, giving the chief medical officer of the state – a politically appointed person who is an otolaryngologist – the responsibility of setting the rules for these therapies.
The Nebraska Legislature voted 33 to 14 to end debate on a bill banning 12-week abortions and gender-affirming care for minors
Abortion and gender-affirming medical treatments for transgender youth are at the heart of the so-called culture war raging in American politics, with Republican-dominated legislatures across the country banning or imposing strict restrictions on both .
Republicans introduced more than 500 bills affecting LGBTQ people in 2023, of which at least 49 passed, according to the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ rights group.
North Carolina also passed a 12-week abortion ban this week, among a slew of restrictions enacted across states after the U.S. Supreme Court last year overturned Roe v. Wade of 1973 which established a national right to abortion.
Fourteen US states now almost completely ban abortion at any time during pregnancy.