Protester Punches Officer After Nebraska Transgender, Abortion Protest

Protests against several bills in Nebraska briefly turned violent after a protester punched a police officer. The violence comes as the Cornhusker State is set to enact major changes related to youth gender changes and abortion.

The Nebraska state legislature passed a number of conservative laws during its most recent session, including a 12-week ban on abortion and restrictions on gender transition for those aged 18 and younger.

During the protest at the state capitol building a number of protesters breached into the balcony above the legislative chamber. 

This included reportedly tossing bloody tampons onto the floor. 

Several protesters were arrested during the protest, including a woman caught on tape apparently striking an officer in the chest. 

The woman, Sara Crawford, 33, was arrested for obstructing a peace officer.

Overall, six people were arrested during the raucous protests.

During the debate over the bill, state Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh (D) made an impassioned speech that made the rounds of social media.

During the speech, Cavanaugh said she would “not stop today.”

“I will not stop tomorrow,” she said. “You are loved. You matter. You belong here.” 

She said that Republicans in the chamber “have to live with the fact that you vote to take away people’s rights.”

The new abortion bill would include several exceptions, including for maternal health, incest and cases of rape. 

The state’s chief medical officer would also have to approve using puberty blockers and hormone therapies. Gender reassignment surgery on young people would be banned.

Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen (R) indicated that he would sign the bills into law.

Nebraska joins a number of other states that have restricted gender reassignment procedures for minors and abortion.

Bans or related legislation for youth gender changes have now been passed in states such as Utah, Arizona and Florida.

Last month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a six-week abortion ban into effect. Last week, DeSantis signed a ban on gender transitioning for minors.

“This will permanently outlaw the mutilation of minors,” the governor said.