Judge rejects petition for pro-abortion ballot initiative in Nevada

A Nevada judge has rejected a proposed 2024 ballot initiative to enshrine abortion as a right in the state’s constitution. The petition for the proposed ballot initiative was filed by the political action committee Nevadans for Reproductive Rights in September. Nevadans for Reproductive Rights is affiliated with Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood Affiliates and other groups.

The Coalition for Parents and Children PAC filed a lawsuit in October to block the pro-abortion petition, which would have added a new section to Article 1 of the Nevada Constitution that would ensure “every individual has a fundamental right to reproductive freedom,” including abortion. It would also include a “fundamental right” to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, birth control, vasectomy, and tubal ligation.

District Judge James T. Russell struck down the proposed ballot initiative, calling it too broad, ruling that it contains a “misleading description of effect.” He also determined that funding would be required to form a panel that would determine if abortions were being carried out according to the appropriate standards of care.

Warning: Image of abortion victim below.

“This is probably the clearest case I have seen that I think there is a violation of the single-subject rule,” said Russell. “I’ve seen a lot of them over the years and in respect to this particular matter, there are too many subjects. Not all of which are functionally related to each other.”

Jason Guinasso, attorney for the Coalition for Parents and Children PAC, said he was happy with the ruling but did expect the Nevadans for Reproductive Rights group to appeal Russell’s decision.

“This is the first time that a legal challenge of this kind has been successful in the country post-Dobbs,” he explained in a press release. “It is the correct decision as the initiative is in violation of Nevada law. The initiative covers more than a single subject and is grossly misleading in part due to the ambiguity of what ‘reproductive freedom’ is meant to represent. The proposed right encompasses an abyss of subjects and the proponents have not thought through the foreseeable consequences of what they are proposing in their initiative. This includes the potential fiscal impact on Nevada taxpayers.”

Nevadans for Reproductive Rights president Lindsay Harmon, who is also executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes Nevada, said that the pro-abortion group “will not let one judge’s misguided ruling deter us from giving Nevadans the opportunity to vote to permanently protect their reproductive rights in the Nevada Constitution.”

Abortion is currently legal in Nevada for any reason through 24 weeks of pregnancy when committed by a licensed doctor. Children born as young as 21 weeks have survived with medical assistance.

The most common abortion procedure in the second trimester is the D&E (dilation and evacuation) or dismemberment abortion. During a D&E abortion, the abortionist tears the child apart, grasping arms and legs and pulling them off of the baby before crushing her skull. Below is the image of a child killed by a D&E abortion.

Justice for the Five

Baby Holly was dismembered by a D&E abortion in a Washington DC abortion facility. Photo courtesy of Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising.

Abortions are also allowed after 24 weeks in Nevada if the abortionist finds reasonable cause to believe an abortion is necessary to preserve the health or life of the mother. However, induced abortion — the direct and intentional killing of the preborn child — is never medically necessary because any child can be delivered alive, even prematurely, when the mother’s life is at risk. Premature delivery to save the mother’s health or life is not an abortion and is therefore not prohibited by pro-life laws.

Editor’s Note 11/28/23: This article was updated with a quote from attorney Jason Guinasso.

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