Pro-abortion groups filed a petition initiative Thursday with the Nevada Secretary of State to place a constitutional amendment enshrining a ‘right’ to abortion before voters on the state’s 2024 ballot.
Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice Nevada, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Nevada together have formed the political action committee called Nevada for Reproductive Freedom. The groups are pushing for “the right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including, without limitation, prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, birth control, vasectomy, tubal ligation, abortion, abortion care, management of a miscarriage and infertility care.” (emphasis added)
This “right… without limitation” to abortion listed in the petition’s language reveals that despite claims by people like former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, there are indeed politicians and others (like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) who are promoting the idea of allowing abortions up to birth.
According to NBC News, the language also says the state “may not penalize, prosecute, or take adverse action against any individual based on the outcome of a pregnancy of the individual, or against any licensed health care provider who acts consistent with the applicable scope and practice of providing reproductive health care services to an individual who has granted their voluntary consent.”
It goes on to specify, “Neither may the State penalize, prosecute, or take adverse action against any individual or entity for aiding or assisting another individual in the exercise of the rights established by this initiative.”
That wording is similar to the language found in Senate Bill 7, which passed the legislature in May. That push by lawmakers to enshrine abortion as a constitutional right must pass again in 2025 in order for it to appear as a ballot measure in 2026. This ballot initiative is a separate attempt to make abortion a constitutional “right.” In both the legislative attempt and the ballot initiative, the constitutional change must be approved twice; should this ballot initiative succeed and pass a vote in 2024, it would appear before voters again in 2026.
“The fallout of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade has shown us that we have already suffered one year too long without the guaranteed right to reproductive freedom, and we simply cannot afford to stand by and allow any further encroachment on the fundamental right of Nevadans to determine their own reproductive lives and care,” Lindsey Harmon, executive director for Planned Parenthood Votes Nevada, said in a statement about the petition initiative.
The Nevada Current reports that in order for the petition to qualify for the ballot, organizers must secure around 103,000 signatures split between the state’s four congressional districts. If the signatures are received by next June, the measure will be put on the November ballot.
Abortions are currently legal through 24 weeks — around six months — in the state, when preborn children have the ability to survive outside the womb if born prematurely (babies have survived at 21 weeks). The language of this petition would expand this “without limitation.”