Nebraska State Senator Screams 'We Need Trans People' While Arguing in Support of Sex Changes for Minors


Transgender+ Rally in London
Getty Images / Guy Smallman


A highly charged debate ensued in the Nebraska legislature last Friday, where members discussed a bill that aimed to ban sex change procedures for minors and limit abortion to 12 weeks, except in cases of rape and incest. Amidst the discussion, Democratic Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh vociferously expressed her support for transgender individuals, a stance that escalated the session into a chaotic scene. Cavanaugh vehemently denounced the conservative legislators who backed the bill, prophesying a potential exodus of residents, medical professionals, and businesses in response to its implementation.

The bill in question is a hybrid one, addressing not only restrictions on sex change procedures and abortion but also granting certain protections for unborn children. Despite fervent opposition from some quarters, the bill successfully navigated the legislative process. It amassed sufficient support from Republican lawmakers to overcome a filibuster, setting the stage for Nebraska’s governor, Jim Pillen, who has already pledged to sign it into law. Once enacted, the state’s chief medical officer will establish regulations concerning puberty blockers and hormone therapies for transgender minors.

The controversial bill’s passage triggered a wave of protests, leading to the arrest of at least six individuals at the Nebraska state Capitol building. However, Nebraska is not an outlier in its legislative trend. To date, at least 17 states have adopted laws that either limit or outright ban transgender procedures, hormones, and therapies for minors. Moreover, similar proposals are under consideration in Texas and Missouri.

This recent surge in restrictive legislation follows a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned the historical Roe v. Wade ruling from 1973 that had legalized abortion nationwide. In light of this shift, North Carolina also passed a 12-week abortion restriction this week, joining Nebraska and other states that have enacted stringent limitations on reproductive rights and transgender health care for minors. This new landscape has prompted strong responses from both supporters and critics, suggesting an enduring, contentious debate over these issues in the years to come.


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