Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak mentioned Wednesday that if he wins re-election he would search to codify in legislation subsequent legislative session an order he signed that protects in-state abortion suppliers and out-of-state sufferers.
“Governors are the last line of defense in protecting reproductive freedoms,” he mentioned. “The buck stops with us.”
The announcement got here within the aspect lounge of a Reno espresso and wine store, the place he hosted a panel of obstetrician-gynecologists, medical college students and reproductive rights advocates to debate their plans to guard abortion entry, as reproductive rights have develop into central to his re-election marketing campaign in the important thing swing state and that of Democrats nationwide.
In the times following the Supreme Court’s choice in June to overturn Roe v. Wade, Sisolak signed the manager order saying that Nevada is not going to help different states that attempt to prosecute residents who journey to Nevada for abortions. It additionally ensures medical boards and commissions that oversee medical licenses don’t self-discipline or disqualify docs who present abortions.
For that order to be changed into legislation, a lawmaker must sponsor the invoice and undergo the legislative course of. Due to Nevada’s biennial legislative construction, it will possibly solely be handed within the 2023 or 2025 classes.
Even in Nevada, the place abortion inside 24 weeks has been codified into legislation since 1990, Sisolak has develop into certainly one of a rising variety of Democrats who made the overturning of Roe v. Wade a significant speaking level. On Wednesday, he mentioned that his position is to “continue the access that exists” and increase funding assets for suppliers.
Republican gubernatorial nominee Joe Lombardo, an anti-abortion candidate, indicated that he could overturn Sisolak’s government order however has declined to take a tough place.
“I’d have to evaluate it, and I’d look at it from the lens of being a pro-life governor,” he mentioned in an emailed assertion on Wednesday. He beforehand advised an area tv station that he would overturn it.
Sisolak has repeatedly mentioned that Lombardo will work to implement a 13-week abortion ban by way of a referendum if elected. Asked about if he would help limiting abortion entry by way of a referendum vote, Lombardo mentioned if voters or the state legislature deliver ahead a poll measure, he would “support giving them the ultimate decision.”
He did not indicate whether he would actively promote a referendum vote.
“I support giving voters the ultimate decision, just as it is codified in Nevada law,” he said.
Republican candidates are hoping a red wave this year brings them back into power in Nevada, where Democrats have enjoyed trifecta control of the governor’s mansion and both chambers of the Legislature since 2018.
But with abortion reemerging as a central campaign issue in this year’s midterms, the party is taking a much different approach than it did in 2014, when it last won control of the statehouse and governorship. That year, the state party dropped a statement opposing abortion from its platform. Yet this year, its top-of-ticket candidates have stressed the right to abortion is codified into state law and it would take a vote of the people in a referendum to restrict abortion here, not a legislative battle like in some other states.
“I’m Catholic and pro-life, but in Nevada, the right to an abortion is codified in law and only Nevada voters can change that,” Lombardo said.
In the coffee shop on Wednesday, Sisolak stressed there were big differences between himself and his opponent.
“People need to make the decision keeping that in mind,” he mentioned. “This is a scenario the place we can’t afford to take steps again.”
The panel additionally talked about out-of-state sufferers coming to Nevada from so far as Texas, in addition to neighboring Idaho, Utah and Arizona, which have put forth plans to limit abortion entry. They spoke of a scarcity of obstetrician-gynecologists coaching facilities and the necessity for one on the University of Nevada-Reno.
A Planned Parenthood consultant spoke of a soon-to-open location by the Reno airport that can assist help a rising variety of out-of-state sufferers that see Nevada as a secure haven.
The query of “what’s next” for abortion entry is a subject that touches almost each statewide race in Nevada. In the tight U.S. Senate race, each candidates have tried to outline the opposite’s stance.
Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto has warned that Republican challenger Adam Laxalt might be the deciding vote for a nationwide abortion ban that will supersede Nevada’s state legislation, a place that Laxalt known as a “falsehood.” Laxalt has tried to color Cortez Masto as an extremist, saying she is advocating for “infanticide” or an abortion up-to-the-minute of start, a process that doesn’t happen.
Associated Press author Sam Metz in Salt Lake City contributed to this report.
Stern is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit nationwide service program that locations journalists in native newsrooms to report on undercovered points. Follow Stern on Twitter @gabestern326.