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Nebraska Bill LB 574 Threatens Both Abortion Access, and Healthcare for Trans Youth

by Emily Lauletta

Nebraska’s Republican state legislature is trying to strip away the rights of many Americans with the power of one devastating bill. The bill in question is LB 574, and while LB 574 was initially intended to restrict access to gender-affirming care (which is already bad enough), it has now evolved into a bill that bans abortion after 12 weeks as well. The bill adopted the 12-week ban after a vote on Tuesday night.

LB 574 must undergo one more round of debates before it’s ultimately voted on again. The scary part is that this could happen as soon as Thursday afternoon— and it appears that the bill might already have enough votes to pass legislation. 

Despite the prevailing circumstances, lawmakers that are against this bill won’t go down without a fight. Nebraska Democratic Senator Machaela Cavanaugh has been filibustering this bill for weeks on end now.

On the recent developments, Cavanaugh stated, “You are willing to drive this state into the ground. You look ridiculous. Women will die, children are dying, and you are responsible.” And she’s right, restricting access to healthcare, whatever form it may be in, has the potential to do harm to a countless number of people in this country.

The Republican lawmakers responsible for pushing this bill forward seem to be extremely aware that their actions have upset those who believe in human rights— they just don’t seem to care. After the vote on Tuesday, many Republican congressmen left the chamber through back hallways in order to avoid the gathering of protestors, indicating that they know what they’re doing is wrong.

If LB 574 passes its final vote, Republican Governor Jim Pillen has said he will sign the amended bill into law. The bill also includes an emergency clause, meaning that as soon as it is signed off on by Governor Pillen, it will go into action. 

LB 574 is just one more example of the influx of anti-trans and anti-abortion legislation that has been cropping up around the country. It’s a scary time for many of those whose rights are on the line. However, knowing that there are elected officials such as Cavanaugh that are willing to do whatever it takes to protect our rights helps us sleep just a little better at night. While it may seem like there’s not much to do but sit and wait at this time, don’t let that deter you from taking action. Write to your local members of Congress, join a protest, or donate to pro-trans and pro-abortion organizations such as OutNebraska and Nebraska Abortion Resources (NEAR). If the government wants to take away our rights, we’ll just have to fight harder to keep them.

Top photo by Ethan Gregory Dodge on Unsplash

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