On Day 81 of the 90-day session, after months of filibustering, daily attempts by opposition to run the session into the ground, countless hours of debate, and numerous attempts to kill or delay the bill, the Nebraska Legislature voted for the passage of the Let Them Grow Act by a vote of 33 to 15.
And now, I write this column hours before Governor Jim Pillen will be joined by dozens of state senators and Nebraska pro-life leaders (Nebraska Catholic Conference, Nebraska Family Alliance, Nebraska Right to Life, and Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America) to sign LB574 into law! I’m writing with a lot of joy, as you can tell by the use of my exclamation points!!!!
LB574 is an important victory, not for us as pro-life advocates or even for the governor and state senators. It is an important victory for children, born and pre-born.
Thousands of children’s lives will be saved from dangerous, life-altering puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and transgender surgeries. In addition, hundreds of babies and mothers will be protected each year from abortion. While there had to be compromises to the bill to ensure its passage, each life saved and protected matters. Incremental wins are also important wins.
The legislators who championed the protections in LB574 deserve our deepest gratitude. They put in many, many hours over nearly the last year to help protect kids from transgender ideology and save babies from abortion. While many from our side have wrapped them in the mantle of prayer and support, the slings and arrows of opponents were relentless. They suffered much at the hands of our adversaries, but they persevered with the grace of God!
Please take a few minutes and send an e-mail of gratitude to Sen. Joni Albrecht (firstname.lastname@example.org) for her work to protect preborn babies, Sen. Kathleen Kauth (email@example.com) for her work to protect kids from transgender ideology, and Sen. Ben Hansen (firstname.lastname@example.org) for his work to bring forth an amendment to ensure we had the support to protect babies and kids!
As well, take a moment to contact Governor Jim Pillen (email@example.com) for his constant leadership this last session. Governor Pillen has been an outspoken, consistent voice for ensuring that we save as many babies as possible this legislative session (and moving forward!) and making sure that we pass common sense legislation to protect kids from life-altering, damaging, and irreversible transgender interventions.
Also, take a moment to contact Speaker John Arch (firstname.lastname@example.org). An unsung hero in all this, Speaker Arch remained committed throughout the session that these two legislative issues be fully debated and given the opportunity for passage this legislative session.
Not only have their commitments to the sanctity of life and human dignity made this possible, but so did you—and we, at the Nebraska Catholic Conference, owe you our own debt of gratitude. You spoke up for those who go without a voice. You spoke up in truth and charity, and your voices overcame the forces of opposition. Thank you!
But as we know, our work is not over. We are all keenly aware—as our hearts feel the loss—that we came up short this year. We wanted to fully protect kids from the transgender movement and we wanted to save babies with heartbeats, but we didn’t quite get there. You, like me, probably taste that loss. But I hope that, like me, you have an increasing desire to continue our work to create a culture of life and a civilization of love for every kid, born and preborn.
We must stay committed to these issues, as they are not going away anytime soon. The Evil One continues to prowl about seeking to infuse confusion and death into our culture. The powers and principalities that assist him, do the same. Let us trust in Christ and place our hope in Him as we continue the battle ahead of us.
I leave you with these words of our wonderful Nebraska Bishops who voiced their gratitude for the passage of LB574: “God made us male and female, in His image and with an inalienable dignity infused in our being from the moment of our conception. We are entrusted by God with a noble mission to defend innocent life from conception to natural death…. Please join us in prayer for the unborn, for mothers facing under-supported pregnancies, for children experiencing gender dysphoria, and for their families. May all Catholics in Nebraska, by their words and their actions, be a living witness of God’s love and mercy to mothers and families in need.”