Nebraska is one of the most conservative states in the US when it comes to reproductive and LGBTQ+ rights. Recently, the state legislature passed two bills that could have serious implications for the health and well-being of minors who seek abortion or gender-affirming care.
What are the new laws?
The first bill, LB 209, requires doctors to inform pregnant minors that they can reverse a medication abortion if they change their mind after taking the first pill. This claim is based on dubious science and could put minors at risk of complications or unwanted pregnancies.
The second bill, LB 231, prohibits health care providers from prescribing puberty blockers or hormones to minors under 19 who identify as transgender or nonbinary. The bill also bans gender-affirming surgery for minors, even with parental consent. This law could deny minors access to essential and life-saving care that affirms their identity and prevents distress.
Why are these laws harmful?
Both bills undermine the autonomy and dignity of minors who have the right to make decisions about their own bodies and lives. They also ignore the medical consensus and best practices that support abortion and transgender care as safe and effective.
By forcing doctors to give misleading information or withhold treatment, these laws could cause harm to minors who need timely and compassionate care. They could also increase stigma and discrimination against young people who already face barriers and challenges in accessing health services.
What can you do to help?
If you live in Nebraska or care about reproductive and LGBTQ+ rights, you can take action to oppose these laws and support the rights of minors. Here are some ways you can help:
- Contact your state senator and urge them to repeal or veto these bills.
- Donate to organizations that provide abortion and transgender care or advocacy in Nebraska, such as Planned Parenthood, ACLU, or Trans Lifeline.
- Educate yourself and others about the facts and benefits of abortion and transgender care for minors.
- Share your story or amplify the voices of those who are affected by these laws.
Together, we can fight for a more just and inclusive society where all people have the right to access health care that respects their choices and needs.
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