Lawsuit filed challenging law restricting abortion, gender-affirming care for trans youth

May 30, 2023, 1:41 p.m. ·

A photo of the Nebraska Capitol from the north.
The Nebraska State Capitol (Archive Photo)

A recently passed law limiting gender-affirming care for minors and banning abortions after around 12 weeks in Nebraska is being challenged in court.

The lawsuit argues the new law, called the Let Them Grow Act, violates the single-subject rule of the Nebraska State Constitution.

The ACLU of Nebraska and Planned Parenthood of the Heartland filed the case in a state court of Lancaster County on Tuesday, according to a release.

The Let Them Grow Act became law because of the passage of Legislative Bill 574. LB 574 passed in the Nebraska State Legislature on May 19 and Gov. Jim Pillen signed it into law on May 22.

It prohibits gender altering procedures for Nebraskans younger than 19. An amendment to the bill included an abortion restriction. It prohibits all abortions later than 12 weeks since the woman’s most recent period — not from fertilization.

ACLU and Planned Parenthood will seek a court order to “block enforcement of the new restrictions,” according to the release.

In a written statement, ACLU of Nebraska's interim executive director Rush Chipman said, “Although both components of LB 574 took away Nebraskans’ freedoms, ultimately we are talking about two entirely unrelated subjects: gender-related care for trans youth and abortion access,” Chipman said.

Supporters of the Let Them Grow Act argue the two restrictions fall under one topic. Gov. Pillen said the following in a written statement the night LB 574 passed.

“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,” Gov. Pillen said.

Nebraska Attorney General, Mike Hilgers, will have about one month to respond to the lawsuit, unless a judge rules before then.