Nebraska lawmakers passed a bill Friday that protects preborn children from abortion after 12 weeks gestation. The bill, which passed the state’s unicameral legislature with a 33-15 vote, was signed by Governor Jim Pillen on Monday and went into effect immediately.
LB 574, the “Let Them Grow Act,” limits abortion to the first trimester, though it does include exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother (though an abortion, which is the direct and intentional killing of a preborn child, is never medically necessary). Prior to the bill’s passage, abortion in the state was legal up to 20 weeks.
#LB574 IS LAW! pic.twitter.com/3R0Q9ZmV40
— NE Family Alliance (@nebfamily) May 22, 2023
“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,” Pillen said in a statement supporting the legislation.
Senator Joni Albrecht, who previously introduced a heartbeat bill that failed to pass, was emotional at this bill’s passage, though she expressed hope that one day all children in the state will be protected from abortion.
“We’ve certainly had a lot of setbacks, but to see this bill all the way through general select and final reading…,” she said as she offered her thanks to the governor and lieutenant governor “for supporting pro-life issues in Nebraska. Today is about celebrating and protecting the unborn, allowing our children to grow. And 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.”
Planned Parenthood spoke out following Pillen’s signing. “We are devastated about the cruel and harmful bans signed into law today,” said Ruth Richardson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States. “We will do everything we can to help patients in Nebraska. We will continue offering abortion as allowed in the new law, and we will help patients get connected to the help they need to get to appointments out of state. We are working every day to provide people the health care they need. Politicians have made our work unnecessarily harder, but our doors are open and we’ll keep doing everything we can for patients and communities.”
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