Opinion: The fight is far From over: Nevada’s vital role in protecting abortion rights

By Alexa Solis

May 10, 2024

When it comes to abortion rights in 2024, every win and every loss has an outsized impact felt across the country. With Florida enforcing a near total abortion ban earlier this month, Arizona narrowly missing the enforcement of a pre-Civil War era ban only to be left with a 15-week ban, and two Supreme Court cases that, if the court sides with anti-abortion advocates, would impact the provision of medication abortion even in protected access states like Nevada and allow states like Idaho to deny life-saving emergency abortion care to patients, the stakes of protecting our rights have truly never been greater.

We are a nation in crisis and almost no issue illustrates that better than the issue of abortion. State legislatures, federal and state courts, and anti-abortion politicians used our rights and lives as political bargaining chips when they set the stage for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, which had guaranteed the right to an abortion for nearly 50 years. And now that the chips are down, those same politicians are hiding their anti-abortion records because they know it’s unpopular with voters while doubling down in secret to anti-abortion advocacy groups like Nevada Right to Life.

The question for many of us is: what do we do about it?

In Nevada, we’re taking it to the ballot box with a state constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights. As a state that serves as an access point for abortion patients everywhere, particularly in the west and southwest, we understand the gravity of this moment in a way that can seem distant for many. The reality is that the abortion access crisis will worsen before it improves.

The consequences of laws denying life-saving emergency abortion care, like Idaho is currently arguing to be able to uphold in front of the Supreme Court, are dire. All people who can become pregnant, their families, and communities suffer when access to vital health care is restricted. Tragically, we’ve already seen the devastating impact in states like Idaho, Texas and Arizona, where women have been turned away from hospitals in medical emergencies.

It shouldn’t have to be like this. Whether you live or die in pregnancy shouldn’t be based on where you live. In fact, whether or not you choose to start a family, and when, shouldn’t be based on where you live. There’s no state where these abortion bans are popular, but as a state with some protections for abortion in place and room to improve, Nevada stands at a critical juncture in the fight for reproductive freedom.

We have a unique opportunity to lead by example in protecting reproductive rights in our state constitution, as well as continue to push for policies and candidates who understand that Nevadans want to be able to make their own reproductive health care decisions without political interference. We know that for anti-abortion politicians and judges, overturning Roe v. Wade was just the beginning. With attempts at limiting IVF via an Alabama Supreme Court decision and continued threats to abortion, birth control, and reproductive health care as a whole, we simply can’t afford to wait.

The fight for reproductive freedom is far from over. Nevadans must stand united in advocating for policies that prioritize abortion access and reproductive health care over politics and affirm the fundamental right to bodily autonomy by enshrining abortion as a constitutional right. Our lives and the lives of our families, children, and neighbors depend on it.

  • Alexa Solis

    Alexa Solis is the deputy director at Planned Parenthood Votes Nevada. She was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and joined the movement for reproductive rights and freedom in 2018 after receiving a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno.

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