- While abortion rights up to 24 weeks are already codified in state law, Nevada has advanced a measure that could provide women with the highest level of reproductive rights protections in the state.
- On Wednesday, the Nevada Assembly approved a proposal to enshrine reproductive rights, including access to abortion and postpartum and prenatal care, in the state constitution.
- Now, Nevada lawmakers must pass the measure again in the 2025 legislative session and place the proposal as a ballot item in 2026.
Nevada lawmakers on Wednesday passed a joint resolution that would codify reproductive rights — including the already existing abortion access up to 24 weeks — into the state constitution.
The state Assembly approved the measure 28 to 14 along party lines, about three weeks after the state Senate passed it 13 to 8 along party lines. State lawmakers must re-pass the resolution in 2025 before it goes to voters as a ballot question in 2026. If passed, the resolution would provide the highest level of state protection not only for abortion rights, but also for other reproductive access, including postpartum and prenatal care, as well as birth control.
“Our state, among many other states, is being tested on whether we stand up for the reproductive and medical freedom of Nevadans,” Democratic Congresswoman Selena La Rue Hatch said before voting for the resolution. “Decisions about our health care, especially our reproductive health care, should be made between a doctor, a patient, and those they trust.”
NEVADA CONSIDERING ABORTION RIGHTS INTO STATE CONSTITUTION
Since the cancellation last year of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized the right to abortion, more than a dozen states effectively banned abortion, and others moved to further tighten abortion laws. abortion, including neighboring Utah and Idaho.
Abortion rights up to 24 weeks are already codified in Nevada law by a 1990 referendum vote, where two-thirds of voters were in favor. This can be changed with another referendum vote.
The standards are higher for amending the constitution, which requires either the approval of two legislative sessions and an election, or two consecutive elections by a simple majority of votes. A governor cannot veto a constitutional amendment.
Republicans spoke out against the proposal, citing that the protections are already codified in law and that it includes reproductive protections that extend beyond the 1990 referendum vote.
Republican Congresswoman Danielle Gallant said she would favor splitting the resolution into two proposals — one with the abortion protections outlined in the 1990 referendum vote and the other with the other reproductive protections — but that she would ultimately vote against the measure.
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In a moving speech, Republican Assemblyman Ken Gray recounted how his mother considered having an abortion before deciding against it, saying “if I wasn’t here, my kids wouldn’t be there”.
“I can’t and don’t want to see (abortion) as anything other than evil,” he said.
Senate Democratic Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro led a group of 40 Democratic lawmakers in co-sponsoring the measure.