(LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic state senator from Nebraska agreed to end a filibuster she launched against most pro-life and pro-family legislation in protest of a bill to restrict medical intervention for gender-confused minors. One of the bills that remained stalled for three weeks is designed to prohibit elective abortions once a baby’s heartbeat has been detected.
Democrat Machaela Cavanaugh has received considerable attention from the 6th District of Nebraska for passionately leading a filibuster within the state legislature’s debate on a bill that would effectively ban surgeries and drugs intended for “gender transitions” for all minors.
More than three weeks after the filibuster on legislative actions began, Speaker John Arch announced that Cavanaugh agreed to end the stalling tactic as a discussion of the bill is scheduled for Tuesday.
LB 574, also known as the “Let Them Grow Act,” states that “no health care practitioner shall perform gender altering procedures in this state for an individual younger than 19 years of age or refer an individual younger than 19 years of age for gender altering procedures.”
All surgeries and drugs provided to youth under age 19 with the intention of “gender transition” would be strictly prohibited. Medical professional actions that impact any of the restricted practices “shall be considered unprofessional conduct.”
State funding is also forbidden from being “directly or indirectly used” to support any organization that promotes and provides mutilating medical intervention for minors. Additionally, those who are given any of the so-called treatment before age 19 are able to “bring a civil action for appropriate relief against the health care practitioner who performed the gender altering procedure.”
Introduced on January 17, the bill has made no progress in the legislature due to the filibuster, which the Republican majority could not stop because it is one seat short of the 33 votes required to override the filibuster.
“If this legislature collectively decides that legislating hate against children is our priority, then I am going to make it painful, painful for everyone,” the senator said in a February 23 meeting when she announced her plans to draw out debate on nearly all legislative proposals in order to prevent LB 574 from progressing. “If you want to inflict pain upon our children, I am going to inflict pain upon this body, and I have nothing but time, and I am going to use all of it.”
Cavanaugh also reportedly said in an interview that she pushed against the legislation even when sick with strep throat, because the bill “is going to hurt children” and she intends to fight “especially for our most vulnerable children, which are trans youth.”
Republican Senator Julie Slama pushed back against the comments, according to a March 15 local news report.
“If we don’t have censure for stuff said on the mic like that, I don’t know why we have a censure motion in the first place,” Slama said. “I’m beyond words right now because that’s a level of ignorance that’s unacceptable in a legislative body.”
The Republican filed an official motion to censure Cavanaugh yesterday, which can be brought to a vote by the Speaker at any point during a session.
I filed a motion to censure Sen. M. Cavanaugh (D) today.
Sen. Cavanaugh compared a bill to protect girls sports to genocide, then made flippant remarks about genocide. She repeatedly said “The Nebraska Legislature is perpetrating a genocide” by introducing this bill. (1/4)
— Senator Julie Slama (@SenatorSlama) March 15, 2023
Disregard for the vulnerability of the unborn
While arguing that gender-confused youth are the “most vulnerable children,” Cavanaugh ironically and simultaneously advocates for the murder of the voiceless unborn. One of the bills that froze in the legislature during the filibuster was LB 626, also known as the “Heartbeat Act,” which seeks to prohibit abortion once a baby’s heartbeat is detected. Abortionists who kill the unborn after hearing a heartbeat are subject to professional repercussions but would not face criminal charges. Exceptions for cases of rape, incest, or threats to the mother’s life are also outlined in the bill’s language.
In addition to the filibuster, Cavanaugh voted in favor of a motion to refer the bill to a committee rather than debate the proposal in the main legislative body. On January 26, votes were 32-14 opposing the motion and 30-16 on a motion to reconsider — which Cavanaugh also favored — the next day. Yesterday, an amendment to the bill was proposed to increase the time frame in which a woman is legally allowed to kill her child from six weeks to 12 weeks.
On her campaign website, Cavanaugh blasted the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June 2022, saying that the ruling “takes away the fundamental right of all women and families to make decisions about their health care” and vowing to fight for abortion access. She added that she “will continue to use my power as a Senator to lift [my constituents] up instead of taking away their rights.”
In August, Cavanaugh lamented policies released by the Archdiocese of Omaha that require staff and students to adhere to their biological sex regarding dress code, pronoun and bathroom use, sports participation, and medical intervention for gender confusion.
“I cannot begin to express how this breaks my heart,” Cavanaugh wrote on Twitter. “This is not the Catholic Church I grew up in, nor what I was taught.”
The diocese simply pointed to Catholic teaching that God created man and woman and calls each to accept their biological sex rather than reject it. Same-sex attraction is not natural or the way God created men and women to interact. The Church also prohibits intentional mutilation and sterilization unless medically necessary.
Unfortunately, Cavanaugh is not the first Catholic politician to openly support legislation that stands in direct opposition to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Most notably, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi stirred up enormous conflict when she continued to receive Holy Communion while promoting pro-abortion legislation, even after her home diocese barred her from doing so. During a “Women’s Equality Day” event last year, she even called abortion restrictions “sinful.”
Similarly, President Joe Biden has pushed for unlimited abortion access and the mutilation of children through so-called “gender affirming” medical intervention for gender-confused minors. In his most recent remarks on the subject, Biden criticized Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for protecting children, calling legislation to ban child mutilation “close to sinful.”
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