Now that the United States Supreme Court has ruled that abortion is no longer a federally protected right and is now dependent on individual states, more attention is on state elected officials and how they approach this divisive issue. Nevada law includes protections for abortion that were ratified by Nevada voters in a 1990 referendum. So regardless of the fact that Roe is repealed, the state’s abortion law can only be amended or repealed as a result of direct votes from the people of Nevada by another referendum. The state also protects clinic access by prohibiting interference with entering or exiting a facility. In terms of restrictions, Nevada prohibits abortion at twenty-four weeks post-fertilization and limits public funding for abortion to only cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.
It also has a requirement that a parent or legal guardian be notified about a minor’s abortion. Regardless, with abortion now a state specific issue instead of a federally protected right, voters will want to know the stances of candidates in the upcoming 2022 midterms elections. In the race for Attorney General, incumbent Attorney General Aaron D. Ford has stated: “If you need reproductive health services, make that appointment with your doctor, we will protect your right to make decisions with your doctor about what is best for your health, your family and your future.”
His opponent, Sigal Chattah has stated “life begins at the time of fetal heartbeat” and is in favor of prosecuting and imprisoning women who seek an abortion. For Governor, incumbent Governor Steve Sisolak stated “As long as I’m Governor, I will oppose any attempts – whether at the federal or state level – to attack a Nevada woman’s’ right to an abortion within 24 weeks of her pregnancy.” His opponent, Joe Lombardo has stated on his campaign website at the bottom of the issues page that he is pro-life.
For Nevada’s U.S. Senate race, incumbent Senator Catherine Cortez Masto stated, “Nevada’s laws keep the government out of a woman’s decision to have an abortion. I support federal legislation protecting a woman’s right to choose just as we have done in our state.” Her opponent, Adam Laxalt states at the bottom of the issues page on his campaign website that he is pro-life and will stand against taxpayer funding for abortion as well as vote against “extreme” proposals that expand reproductive rights as federal law.
For responses from candidates in Congressional Districts one, two, three, and four, The Nevada Independent offers more in depth answers from candidates when it comes to their stances on abortion rights.