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(LifeSiteNews) — Nebraska can enforce its law against abortions after 12 weeks and protect minors from surgical and chemical mutilation, a state judge ruled recently.

District Court Judge Lori Maret upheld Legislative Bill 574 which prohibits “gender-altering surgery” for minors, such as mastectomies and genital surgeries, while requiring the state’s chief medical officer – Dr. Timothy Tesmer, an appointee of Governor Jim Pillen – to issue regulations on the use of transgender drugs.

There are some exceptions in the bill, such as allowing the use of unscientific and dangerous drugs by gender-confused teens already taking them to continue.

The law also protects preborn babies from elective abortions at 12 weeks’ gestation, as previously reported by LifeSiteNews.

Judge Maret’s August 11 ruling also tossed Planned Parenthood’s medical officer from the case, concluding Dr. Sarah Traxler’s claim she will suffer injury is only “speculative.” An appeal of the judge’s ruling is expected, but the laws can go into effect while the case proceeds.

Planned Parenthood and the ACLU tried to get the legislation blocked, partially because the leftist groups claimed the law violated the state constitution’s requirement that laws be single-issue. Yet Planned Parenthood conceded that the law dealt on the whole with healthcare.

The abortion giant has standing, unlike Traxler, because of the “direct economic injury” it will “suffer” if it cannot abort babies, the judge ruled. Traxler argued that she also had standing because she would lose her medical license if she broke the law. However, she never proved that she normally commits abortions after 12 weeks, the judge noted.

The law will not end abortion in Nebraska, though it could save a few hundred lives, according to the state’s 2021 report on abortion.

Gov. Pillen praised the ruling. “I am grateful for the court’s thorough decision,” he said, as reported by the Associated Press. “I was proud to sign into law a measure that protects kids and defends the unborn, and I am pleased that it has been upheld.”

Planned Parenthood called the ruling “infuriating.”

“This decision is a devastating blow to Nebraskans’ fundamental right to make what should be private decisions between them and their doctors,” Planned Parenthood North Central States CEO Ruth Richardson stated. “This abortion ban disproportionately affects people in rural areas, people of color, people with low incomes, and young people, further widening already unacceptable health inequities.”

“While it’s infuriating that these restrictions will remain in place for now, Planned Parenthood stands together with Nebraskans, a majority of whom support keeping abortion safe and legal in our state,” Richardson stated. “We will never stop fighting for the freedom, bodily autonomy and health of our communities. And we remain dedicated to helping our patients in Nebraska access the care they so desperately need, even if it means having to travel out of state.”

SBA Pro-Life America’s Western Regional Director Adam Schwend also celebrated the ruling but stated more work needed to be done.

“Life is winning in Nebraska. The Legislature worked hard to get the Let Them Grow Act to the finish line, and it is expected to save hundreds of lives a year by protecting babies from painful abortions after 12 weeks,” Schwend stated. “Judge Maret respected the will of the people, rather than imposing the abortion lobby agenda of late-term abortion on demand at any time for any reason.”

“While the fight for unborn children and their mothers continues, we are proud to stand with leaders like Governor Pillen and we’re confident the compassion and common sense of Nebraskans will prevail,” he stated.

The law came after a broader six-week abortion ban died when liberal Republican joined with pro-abortion Democrats to stop legislation. Republican state Senator Merv Riepe abstained from voting which killed the legislation, as previously reported by LifeSiteNews.

“We must embrace the future of reproductive rights,” the liberal Republican stated at the time.