'Embarrassingly historic': GOP governor chided over 'children as photo-op props' at abortion ban signing

'Embarrassingly historic': GOP governor chided over 'children as photo-op props' at abortion ban signing
Image via screengrab.

Republican Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen on Monday signed into law a twelve-week exceptionless abortion ban and severe restrictions on gender-affirming care.

"Effective immediately," Heartland Signal reported of Legislative Bill 574, "anyone under the age of 19 will not be able to receive gender-affirming care under the new law, while the state’s chief medical officer will have the power to establish limitations on hormone therapy and puberty blockers. Abortion access will be restricted after 12 weeks of gestation with exceptions for rape, incest or to save the life of the pregnant person. Despite these harmful regulations, Pillen insisted that this bill is aimed at saving children."

St. Louis Public Radio noted after LB574 cleared the State House of Representatives on May 10th that gender-affirming care "is supported by multiple medical associations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association. Doctors say it's rare for minors to undergo any form of transition-related surgery before the age of 18."

READ MORE: 'Buckets of blood on your hands': Nebraska Democrat slams GOP ahead of anti-trans and anti-abortion bill vote

Pillen spoke at a press conference immediately following his consequential act, which the governor performed while being flanked by two girls and cradling an infant swaddled in white.

"Here we go. That is pretty good. And Jenna just said, 'There's more to come in the state of Nebraska,'" Pillen said as baby Jenna cooed.

"Today is an extraordinary, historic day for the state of Nebraska. It's a day where it's really simple. We're standing up to protect our kids so that our state has a bigger and brighter future. LB574 is the most significant win for social conservative agenda in over a generation of Saint Nebraska. I think that's something we need to clap and shout about," Pillen proclaimed to an eruption of audience adulation.

Later in the day, Pillen tweeted that "the passage of LB574 was a historic day for the state of Nebraska. The legislation sent a message that Nebraska will stand up and protect our kids so that they can have a better and brighter future. Together, we can create a culture that embraces life and love."

READ MORE: 'There’s going to be a lawsuit': Nebraska GOP passes ban on gender-affirming healthcare and abortion

LB574's enactment harbingered a swarm of visceral reactions.

American Civil Liberties Union: "Nebraska's bill restricting health care for trans youth and abortion for all confirms: It's the same politicians that are attacking our bodily autonomy and freedom across the board."

Michael E: "It's despicable how politicians use children as photo-op props."

Meredith's Eloquent Ramblings (she/her): "Absolutely shameful. While using a baby as a photo op? Way to 'protect the youth of Nebraska' while objectifying them for your personal agenda. Disgusting."

Robyn D: "If you would wanted to 'embrace life and love' you would have vetoed those hateful bills. But instead you wanted to pander to your base. Who's next in the lineup?"

@zachhhattackkkk: "It actually creates a culture that embraces bigotry and hatred but whatever you say, Jim. Please continue to shape policy off your religious beliefs, it's fantastic…"

Chris H: "Yes, it was historic. Embarrassingly historic."

Jack Torrance's Typewriter: "Hooray for government overreach."

Watch Pillen's remarks below or at this link.

READ MORE: 'I don’t answer to them': Nebraska State Sen. chooses constituents over party by opposing abortion ban

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