Red State Judge Upholds Law Restricting Abortion, Sex Change Procedures

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A state judge in Nebraska dismissed a lawsuit on Friday challenging a new law that bans abortions at 12 weeks and prohibits sex change procedures for minors.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland (PPH) and an abortion provider, backed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), sued the state just over a week after Republican Gov. Jim Pillen signed the law in May, arguing that it violates a provision of Nebraska’s constitution that restricts bills from containing more than one subject. Lancaster County District Court Judge Lori Maret upheld the law, LB 574, determining that “all parts of the bill relate to health care.”

“Planned Parenthood does not dispute that abortion and gender-altering procedures are health care,” the judge wrote in the order. “They are both medical treatments involving surgery or pharmaceuticals.”

LB 574 includes the Preborn Child Protection Act, the 12-week abortion ban, in sections 1-6 of the bill, and restricts “gender-altering surgeries” and puberty blockers for minors in sections 14-20, known as the Let Them Grow Act. Pillen signed the bill into law May 22. (RELATED: Judge Dismisses Claim That Activists Who Blocked Abortion Clinic Acted In Defense Of Unborn Person)

“I am grateful for the court’s thorough decision,” Pillen said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. “I was proud to sign into law a measure that protects kids and defends the unborn, and I am pleased that it has been upheld.”

The ACLU will appeal the decision, ACLU of Nebraska Executive Director Mindy Rush Chipman said in a statement.

“State senators combined unrelated restrictions into a single bill in their rush to take away Nebraskans’ rights,” Rush Chipman said. “That tactic violated the text of the Nebraska Constitution, which plainly says that ‘no bill shall contain more than one subject.’ As a result, Nebraskans are being seriously harmed.”

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