Reproductive rights, namely abortion, will be the centerpiece of Democratic campaigns throughout the country and in Nevada for the 2024 election. Although abortion has remained a centerpiece of many Democratic campaigns for decades, the recent overturn of Roe V. Wade has spurred broad, partisan and bipartisan legislation. In fact, a number of bills passed through the Nevada legislature, including adding a Reproductive Freedom Amendment (SJR7) to the state constitution that would enshrine abortion as a human right.
Although Nevadans passed an initiative in 1990 that codified abortions up to six months of pregnancy with extended protections if the life of the mother is threatened, the overturn of Roe v. Wade does not change Nevada law. Yet, the Reproductive Freedom Amendment does in that it removes the six month limitation and expands abortion to the moment of birth when the (undefined) health or mental health of the mother is at risk.
Nevada Democrats have embraced abortion as a winning election issue in the Silver State despite the fact that Planned Parenthood has declared Nevada as a “safe haven for abortion.” Recently published data by the Review Journal confirms Planned Parenthood’s marketing and declaration.
The RJ reports:
Planned Parenthood centers have continued to see a rise of out-of-state patients in Nevada, which has become a hub for abortion care in the desert.
The number of out-of-state patients traveling to Southern Nevada to receive an abortion has doubled since the Dobbs v. Jackson decision that overturned the constitutional right to an abortion, according to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. Last year, 534 patients traveled from out of state to seek an abortion at the Southern Nevada health centers.
Patients mostly traveled from Texas, Arizona and Utah, according to the nonprofit organization. The largest group — 175 patients — came from Texas, where abortion is banned in almost all circumstances. The majority of the other patients came from Arizona and Utah, both of which have bans in place after 15 and 18 weeks of pregnancy, respectively.
Abortion access to out-of-state patients was further protected through SB131, a law introduced by Democratic Senator Nicole Cannizzaro and signed by Republican Governor Joe Lombardo. SB131 codified former Governor Sisolak’s Executive Order which declared “reproductive health care is a basic human right — We are committed to ensuring safe access to abortions for women seeking refuge from the restrictive laws in their state.”
Opponents of the legislation cited recently published data that Nevada is the number one state for human trafficking and expressed fears related to the safety of trafficked women and children.
Recently, Carson District Court Judge James Russell rejected an initiative petition filed by Nevadans for Reproductive Freedom PAC that would have enshrined abortion in the state constitution citing that the petition violated state law requiring an initiative petition to be of a single subject. The initiative, if passed, would have expand “reproductive freedom” to include prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, birth control, vasectomy, tubal ligation, abortion and abortion care.
Last month, Nevada’s federal court was asked to lift its order barring enforcement of Nevada’s requirement that parents of minors seeking abortion be notified before any abortion. Although Nevada has a parental notification statute, the statute was enjoined soon thereafter as part of the Glick v McKay case decided by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The law was found unconstitutional and the injunction has remained in place.
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