Home>Governor>Democratic Socialist Judge With Anti-Cop Sentiments Forces Nevadans To Pay for Medicaid Abortions

The Democratic Socialists of America celebrate the election of Clark County Judge Erika Ballou (Photo: lvdsa.org)

Democratic Socialist Judge With Anti-Cop Sentiments Forces Nevadans To Pay for Medicaid Abortions

Clark County Judge Erika Ballou is no stranger to controversy since elected to the bench

By Megan Barth, March 21, 2024 3:23 pm

When Clark County District Judge Erika Ballou was a card carrying Socialist, Black Lives Matter activist, and Clark County Public Defender, she caused controversy in the courtroom for wearing a Black Lives Matter pin on her blouse. When asked by the presiding judge to remove the pin, Ballou protested and issued this statement: “If you think that Black Lives Matter is anti-police, ask yourself if police are anti-Black Lives. In a free country, I shouldn’t be afraid of the police, but I am.”

In a leaked audio provided exclusively to The Globe, Judge Ballou echoed similar anti-police rhetoric when presiding over a criminal case of a black defendant, proclaiming: “[As a black woman], I don’t want to be around where cops are because I don’t know if I am going to walk away alive or not.”

Yesterday, Judge Ballou ruled that Nevada Medicaid must cover abortions, citing the newly-passed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) as justification for he ruling. The ACLU represented plaintiff Silver State Hope Fund who provides funds for abortion to those who travel to Nevada for the procedure.

The ACLU argued that since Medicaid covers vasectomies, the ERA provides equal treatment for all medical procedures, including abortion.

“From our vantage point, it is the most significant ruling maybe nationally with respect to Medicaid coverage,” Athar Haseebullah, Executive director of the ACLU of Nevada told FOX5. “The equal rights amendment specifically precludes sex based discrimination of a medical service,” Haseebullah noted.

As the ERA was pushed through the legislature, without proper hearings or public comment, opponents of the legislation warned of the consequences of the ballot initiative.

Prior to the constitutional amendment’s passage, Janine Hanson, Chairman of Stop Question 1 ERA, told The Globe, “Just like under the New Mexico State ERA, it will mean taxpayers will be forced to pay for abortions. Children will be able to receive puberty blockers and sex change surgery without parental knowledge or consent.”

Are puberty blockers and sex change surgery operation next on the bill for Nevada taxpayers?

The answer is, Yes.

Senate Bill 163, introduced by bisexual lawmaker Melanie Scheible (D-Las Vegas), was signed into law by Governor Lombardo. As reported by The Globe, SB163 requires health insurance companies and Medicaid to cover treatment, including sex-change surgery, relating to gender dysphoria and gender incongruence for adults and minors (less than 18 years of age). In amended an adopted language, it specifically prohibits “insurers from engaging in certain discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression.”

According to SB163, the diagnosis and medical treatment of such conditions must be prescribed by “medical providers” such as speech-language pathologists and social workers, and a minor must provide a written expression of the desire to undergo the treatment after only six months of showing a “strong desire” to be, or be treated as, the opposite gender assigned by birth. 

According to initial estimates, the cost to Nevada taxpayers is just shy of $5 million, however increasing costs are likely as the costs associated with gender affirming care are expansive due to a double-digit increase in minors identifying as transgender, and the costs of treatment and surgery are continuous due to surgery-related complications.

Additionally, SB163 does not include a religious exemption for medical providers or small businesses that may have objections to providing treatment or insurance. Insurers must consider the most recent Standards of Care published by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH).

Attorney Emily Mimnaugh provided this comment now that the legislation has been signed into law:

“This law can fund surgical interventions for a child of any age who suffers from gender dysphoria. This law provides no protection for a religious organization, affiliated with an insurer, who objects to these surgeries and its mandate. This law is pushing childhood surgeries forward and pushing people of faith to the side. The new mandate is inconsistent with current state law and contrary to our constitutional guarantee of religious liberty. Some of the most progressive nations in Europe are now stepping away from these surgical inventions for children; Nevada is saying we’ll pay for them.  Politicians should never pander to idealogues at the expense of a child’s physical well-being.” 

Judge Ballou was elected in 2020 and is not up for reelection until 2027. Ballou recently bathed in ethical “hot water” when social media posts circulated of her in a hot tub with two Clark County public defenders, Shana Brouwers and Robson Hauser.

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