Debate Expected This Afternoon On Attempt To Add Abortion Ban To Gender-Affirmation Ban


      The Nebraska Legislature returns from a 4-day weekend today and is scheduled this afternoon for final round debate on one of the most contentious bills of the session, a measure banning gender-affirming care for minors.

      Making it even more contentious today is what many observers are calling “an all-or-nothing bet” by conservatives: adding a 12-week abortion ban to the bill. .

     A so-called heartbeat bill banning abortion after about 6 weeks, before most women know they’re pregnant, failed by 1 vote last month when conservative leaders wouldn’t bring to the floor a 12-week ban proposed by a senator who’d voted for the bill earlier.

     Anti-abortion leaders hope that amending a stricter version of the 12-week ban to the trans-gender bill will give conservatives a win on both issues, but it could also lead to them losing both. 

    The Legislature’s rules don’t allow amendments to be attached on the final round, so supporters will need to send it back to second-round consideration to attach the abortion ban, the vote to send the amended version back to final debate.

      Opponents of the transgender bill will run out the maximum 2-hours of final round debate with backers then attempting a cloture vote to end debate. If they get the 33 votes for that, the Take 2 second round debate would begin tonight.

       Opponents would then have 4 hours of debate before another cloture vote, which if successful would trigger 2 more hours of final round debate – likely to be held on Thursday, 

      If this afternoon’s first cloture vote fails, both the abortion amendment and the underlying trans health ban bill will be shelved for the year.