Here’s where Senate candidate Sam Brown stands on reproductive rights

Although retired US Army Capt. Sam Brown has largely avoided the topic of abortion on the campaign trail, his record is rife with anti-abortion rhetoric and actions. (AP Photo/Tom R. Smedes)

By Isabel Soisson

September 28, 2023

Retired US Army Capt. Sam Brown is considered the favorite in Nevada’s Republican Senate primary, and could be headed for a faceoff against Democratic Senator Jacky Rosen next November.

While Rosen has been vocal in her support of abortion rights (she supported the Women’s Health Protection Act that sought to enshrine protections from Roe v. Wade into federal law), Brown has largely avoided the topic on the campaign trail, seeking to minimize his anti-abortion stance.

Brown dodged questions about whether he would support a federal abortion ban during a television interview in July. He told the Nevada Independent, however, that he is “pro-life” and his campaign website makes it even more clear where he stands on the matter.

“I will oppose any bill that pushes for federal funding of abortion, late term abortions, or abortion without parental notification,” Brown says on his site, without noting that late-term abortions are incredibly rare, as 99% of abortions happen before 20 weeks.

Brown’s campaign website does not offer any details regarding what restrictions he would support, but it makes clear that he’ll vote to confirm anti-abortion judges like the Supreme Court justices who helped overturn Roe last year.

“I will support federal judges who understand the importance of protecting life,” Brown writes on his site.

The Senate candidate also submitted a questionnaire to iVoterGuide, a website run by a nonprofit organization committed to “advancing biblical values,” where he stated that he supports abortions when the mother’s life is at risk, but did not express support for exceptions for rape and incest.

This is in direct contrast to statements Brown recently made to Newsweek and the Nevada Independent, in which he indicated that he supports abortions in cases of rape or incest, as well.

After his failed 2022 Senate campaign, Brown also became the chairman of the Nevada Faith and Freedom Coalition, an anti-abortion nonprofit organization that “advances faith-based values” and commits itself to “protecting life,” according to its website.

The group believes that “abortion stops a beating heart and ends an innocent human life.”

Brown’s opposition to abortion rights dates back years. Nearly a decade ago, while running for state office in Texas, Brown said that he supported a 20-week ban on abortion.

“On issues of life, that is a nonnegotiable for me, we’ve got to do everything we can to empower our state, and make sure that it stays on the books,” he said during a legislative forum in 2014.

Brown’s views may be untenable in Nevada, where the vast majority of voters support reproductive rights and where abortion is protected up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.

A 2023 poll conducted by the Nevada Independent and Noble Predictive Insights, for example, found that 62% of Nevada voters support “adding the right for a woman to obtain an abortion to the Nevada State Constitution.”

Earlier this month, a coalition called the Nevadans for Reproductive Freedom filed a petition with the secretary of state’s office to secure a ballot question in 2024 that would give voters the chance to enshrine abortion protections in the state’s constitution.

Brown’s team did not respond to a request for comment on this piece.

  • Isabel Soisson

    Isabel Soisson is a multimedia journalist who has worked at WPMT FOX43 TV in Harrisburg, along with serving various roles at CNBC, NBC News, Philadelphia Magazine, and Philadelphia Style Magazine.

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