Opinion: We’re fighting to protect Nevadans’ reproductive rights. And we need your help

Opinion: We’re fighting to protect Nevadans’ reproductive rights. And we need your help

Photo Courtesy of Nevada Assembly Democrats

By Shea Backus

June 24, 2024

Two years ago, I, along with countless others across Nevada watched in shock and horror as the United States Supreme Court handed down a decision that flung America back to the Dark Ages. That day, for the first time in our nation’s history, women possessed fewer rights than our mothers and our grandmothers before them.  


Today marks the grim two-year anniversary of the Dobbs Decision, where the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, stripping away constitutional protections for abortion rights. This regressive ruling flies in the face of the 7-2 opinion recognizing precedent case law that a right of personal privacy exists under the Constitution in the First Amendment and in the concept of liberty guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment;thus, safeguarding access to abortion.


So, I, along with millions of women across the country, demand to know: What has changed? How can a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body be so callously discarded, no longer protected under the constitutional right to privacy?


A woman’s right to privacy should – and must – be shielded from the clutches of extremists who have demonstrated that their goals reach far beyond just abortion; they seek to dismantle women’s access to commonsense reproductive care entirely. We witnessed this sinister agenda earlier this year when the Alabama Supreme Court ruled to prohibit IVF treatment, a lifeline for women battling infertility. 


The stakes could not be higher. If we permit extremists to dictate access to reproductive care, they will not stop at abortion.They are bound and determined to control every aspect of women’s reproductive health. By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court threw open the doors for politics to invade our most private medical decisions. Extremists will not rest until they have eradicated abortion, IVF, and even contraception.


Regardless of your stance on abortion, make no mistake: every woman in this country is under attack, because our healthcare is under siege. The catastrophic effects of denying women access to reproductive care are well-documented: unsafe abortions, a surge in STDs, and complicated pregnancies that can end in death.


I, along with my Democratic colleagues in the Nevada State Legislature, have stood our ground, passing crucial legislation to safeguard access to abortion and reproductive care. We passed Senate Bill 131, which protects Nevada healthcare providers and out-of-state patients seeking reproductive healthcare here. We also passed Assembly Bill 383 aimed to secure Nevadans access to reproductive healthcare; unfortunately, it was vetoed by Governor Joe Lombardo.


On this somber anniversary of the Dobbs decision, our resolve must be unyielding. We must rise and elect legislators in Nevada who understand what’s at stake and will defend women’s access to reproductive and abortion care. In the upcoming election, reproductive care must be at the forefront of our fight. Although Nevada is a pro-choice state, there are candidates on the ballot who seek to dismantle these rights – including our very own Governor who has already vetoed essential protections for women’s reproductive rights.


To truly safeguard abortion and reproductive care, we must educate the public about the reality and benefits of comprehensive reproductive healthcare. Abortion must be accessible to all, so that women from marginalized communities are not forced to choose unsafe abortions nor denied basic services. The fight is far from over, and on this anniversary, I am more determined than ever to continue this battle. We must not relent. We must fight back with everything we have. Will you join me?

Related: Opinion: Two years since Roe fell, the fight to protect women’s health care is as important as ever 

  • Shea Backus

    As a third-generation Nevadan and almost born at a UNLV Runnin’ Rebels basketball game, Shea truly understands that “Home Means Nevada.” Shea is a proud Clark High School graduate! Shea worked hard to earn an opportunity to study law at Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, with an emphasis in Native American legal issues. In 2002, she interned for the U.S. Department of Justice. After graduating from law school, Shea returned home to Las Vegas and started practicing law with her father. Shea is now a shareholder of a small business. Shea has a long record of giving back to her community and others. Today, Shea provides pro bono legal representation to abused and neglected children. Shea is excited to be running to represent the residents of Assembly District 37. Shea wants to fight the good fight: for Nevadan children so that they benefit from a solid education, for Nevadans to continue to thrive from economic growth and clean energy, and for Nevadans to have access to affordable preventative and diagnostic health care. Shea’s interest in the Nevada legislature stems from her years of legal practice wherein she has had to utilize a majority of the Titles of the Nevada Revised Statutes, not to mention The Constitution of the State of Nevada. Shea took this experience to Carson City in 2019 and is proud of the bills that she sponsored and supported.

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