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

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

Photo Courtesy of Senator Catherine Cortez Masto

By Catherine Cortez Masto

June 24, 2024

As we mark the two-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v. Wade and upend a woman’s right to choose in this country, the fight continues to prevent anti-choice politicians from further eroding women’s rights – even in pro-choice states like Nevada.


Here in Nevada, we proudly believe that a woman’s health care decisions should be made between her and her doctor, not determined by politicians. I remember back in 1990, when Nevadans overwhelmingly voted to codify abortion protections into our state law and protect women’s reproductive rights. Women of all different backgrounds came together to encourage their neighbors to vote “Yes” on the ballot referendum, guaranteeing that in Nevada, a woman would always have the right to choose. 


Nearly 35 years later, the vast majority of Nevadans – including Democrats, Republicans, and independents – still believe the government has no place in a woman’s health care decisions. Despite Nevada’s protections of reproductive rights, we’ve seen how anti-abortion extremists at both the federal and state levels are working to make it harder to access essential reproductive care in our state and across the country.


Anti-choice politicians are trying to bar women from traveling across state lines to receive basic health care. They want to stop women who serve our country in the military from getting the abortion care they need. They’ve proposed a bill in the Senate that would ban abortion nationwide. And now, the far right is coming after another essential form of health care: in vitro fertilization (IVF).


Earlier this year, an Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are considered people, raising concerns about the legality of IVF. In Nevada and across the country, women rely on IVF to start and grow their families. They make that choice in consultation with their partners, their families, and their doctors. There is no logical reason to deny women this right. 


In the wake of the Alabama decision, my pro-choice colleagues and I knew we had to take action to ensure millions of women in the United States could still pursue parenthood through IVF. That’s why we attempted to pass the Right to IVF Act in the Senate. 


This bill would establish a nationwide right for patients to use IVF, a right for doctors to provide proper IVF treatment, and a right for insurance carriers to cover IVF. It would also expand coverage of fertility treatments for servicemembers and veterans, and I am continuing to work with my colleagues to make sure it best serves our hardworking families. It’s simple: my Democratic colleagues and I want to make it crystal clear that we will protect women’s right to grow their families through IVF.


Unfortunately, anti-choice Republicans blocked our bill from passing the Senate. These senators claim to be “pro-life.” They claim to champion family planning. But when it comes down to it, they don’t support it. Instead, they continue to show us just how far they’ll go to undermine women’s rights. 


Nevada women, along with my pro-choice colleagues and I, see right through the tactics of anti-choice politicians, and we know they won’t stop trying to roll back women’s rights. So, we’re fighting back. 


We’ve introduced legislation like the Women’s Health Protection Act to codify the right to choose nationwide, my Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act to protect women’s right to travel to a different state to get the health care they need, and the Stop Comstock Act to repeal a law that anti-abortion extremists could misuse to ban abortion nationwide. I also pushed to ensure Walgreens and CVS stores across the country are distributing the abortion pill, mifepristone.

In the two years since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, millions of women have found themselves with fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers once had. I will never stop fighting for them, and I will never stop fighting to protect a woman’s right to choose in Nevada.

Related: US Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto Explains How Roe v. Wade Was Overturned

  • Catherine Cortez Masto

    Catherine Cortez Masto is the first woman from Nevada and the first Latina ever elected to the U.S. Senate. Born and raised in Las Vegas, Cortez Masto has spent her career protecting Nevada families. As Nevada’s Attorney General, Cortez Masto fought to protect seniors and combat drug crime, strengthened laws to end sex trafficking and violence against women, and took on the Big Banks. In the Senate, Cortez Masto has taken her fight for working Nevadans to Washington, D.C., by working to protect Nevadans’ access to health care, hold banks accountable when they harm hardworking families and homeowners, defend Dreamers so they can continue to live in the only country they’ve ever called home, and grow Nevada’s innovation and renewable energy economy while also prioritizing workers and union families.

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