Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen signs LB574, the Let Them Grow Act, into law, prohibiting abortion at 12 weeks gestation and banning gender-altering procedures for minors. NEBRASKA CATHOLIC CONFERENCE


Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen signs Let Them Grow Act into law

Abortions after 12 weeks were outlawed Monday after Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen signed into law the Let Them Grow Act.

“Today is a historic day in Nebraska,” the governor said at an afternoon press conference. “It is a day where we are standing up and protecting our kids and protecting our kids so they can have a better and brighter future.”

Holding a 5-day-old baby and surrounded by two granddaughters, the governor penned his signature.

“Today is a historic day in the State of Nebraska,” Pillen said. “It is a day where we are standing up and protecting our kids so that they can have a better and brighter future.”

On Friday, 33 senators passed the bill, which also bans gender-altering surgeries for minors and directs the state to develop rules and regulations governing the prescribing of cross-sex hormone and puberty blockers.

That surgery ban and the new hormone and puberty blocker regulations take effect Oct. 1.

The act marks the first restriction on abortion in Nebraska since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer and the most significant step to protect the unborn in the state since 2010 when lawmakers outlawed abortion at 20 weeks. It also represents the first state effort to govern gender-altering procedures for children.

“These efforts answer prayers of over 50 years,” the governor said during the signing ceremony at the State Capitol.

More than 30 state senators were on hand, including a tearful Joni Albrecht of Thurston.

“Every human being has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Albrecht said. “I look forward to the day when every child is protected from conception from elective abortions in the State of Nebraska.”

Last week Archbishop of Omaha George Lucas along with Bishop of Lincoln James Conley and Bishop of Grand Island Joseph Hanefeldt issued a joint statement on the passage of the Let Them Grow Act.

“God made us as male and female, in His image and with an inalienable dignity infused in our being from the moment of our conception. We are entrusted by God with a noble mission to defend innocent life from conception to natural death,” the bishops said.

“The Let Them Grow Act ensures that the futures of hundreds of Nebraska children will be safeguarded each year and legally protected so they may grow and flourish. We’re reminded of our call to help be Christ to our neighbors by accompanying them in times of need.”

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