LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Supreme Court issued a ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade Friday morning, allowing states to make individual decisions on abortion.
In Nevada, though the right to an abortion within 24 weeks of pregnancy has been codified by state law, many local Nevada agencies and organizations have released a mix of statements responding to the court’s decision.
Nevada Republicans have voiced their approval of the decision, saying: "Today, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a historic decision overturning decades of federal overreach and returning the right to regulate abortion to the states. We applaud this decision and will continue to advocate in Nevada for the sanctity of life.
Republicans added, “Despite Democrat misinformation, no changes to abortion access in Nevada would be possible until 2024 at the earliest. "
On the other side of the political aisle, Nevada Democrats have condemned the decision “without hesitation and without reservation.”
“There are no words that can capture our outrage at this unconscionable ruling. For half a century, Roe v. Wade has not only protected the right of Americans to exercise control over their own bodies but has also served as a bulwark around countless individual liberties protecting the dignity and privacy of Americans,” the party said in a news release. “Although we recognize that our rights to reproductive care are protected by Nevada laws, we are only too familiar with the Republicans’ tactics of making abortion effectively impossible through roadblocks, restrictions, and bureaucracy.”
The Diocese of Las Vegas released a statement from Bishop George Leo Thomas, addressing the commitment of the Diocese to the rights of pre-born children.
“In God’s eyes, all human life is sacred. God has a plan for every person – every mother, and every pre-born child. The Church believes in the sacredness of human life, beginning at conception until natural death. Every child born and unborn has the right to life,” Bishop Thomas said.
SEIU Local 1107 condemned the Supreme Court Decision:
“The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade is a devastating setback for women and the country. The decision rejected 50 years of precedent that had enshrined a constitutional right for all women to have access to safe abortion care. This is not only an assault on a woman’s right to choose, it is an attack on every fundamental right that women have been fighting for since the country’s founding, such as voting rights, civil rights, Title IX, pay equity, and gender equality."
SEIU Local 1107 further explained their concern: "The ruling will disproportionally affect women of color, single mothers, and low-income working families who already face systemic barriers to healthcare due to racism and corporate greed. This court is following a right-wing radical agenda to strip working people of their rights, the right to make their own healthcare choices, the right to choose who to marry, the right to vote, or the right to choose to form or join a union."
The Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada stands against the ruling, and released the following statement:
“The decision to overturn 50 years of precedent is a direct threat to bodily autonomy and privacy for anyone needing abortion care. The decision will threaten thousands of lives as it will not end abortion, it will just make them unregulated and deadly. Bodily autonomy is a fundamental right, abortion is right, abortion is healthcare. The credibility of the ultra-conservative court is at an all-time low as they’ve released multiple decisions this month solely based on conservative political ideology, instead of rule of law.
They continued by saying the following: "In Nevada, the right to abortion is protected in statute, meaning that regardless of the Dobbs decision abortion rights are protected. However, we will need to continue to fight so that abortion is more accessable, especially to people of color and those in the 23 states that either now or will soon have abortion bans and may be looking to Nevada for care. We are in solidarity with Planned Parenthood, the community, and other organizations that fight for reproductive rights. We urge everyone to show their support by showing up alongside Planned Parenthood and donating to the Wild West Abortion Fund. We must continue to organize and hold our elected officials accountable.”
Signs of HOPE executive director Daniele Staple is also opposed to the decision. Staple emphasized the mission of Signs of HOPE, noting the organization's commitment to "a culture of choice" in the following statement: "The vision of Signs of HOPE is 'Igniting a culture of choice and an empowered community free from abuse and exploitation.' Given this vision, and our focus on the right of every person to exercise consent regarding what happens to their own bodies at all times, we are devastated at the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision today. This ruling withdraws the right to choose and the ability to make fundamental reproductive decisions that are best for the physical and mental health and well-being of each individual in consultation with their health care provider."
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto has also condemned the ruling. She said in a statement, “Today, a majority of justices on the Supreme Court voted to overrule Roe v. Wade, rolling back the clock on reproductive care and depriving Americans of a long-established right. This is a devastating day for women in America. People in dozens of states across the country will live under extreme abortion bans, and access to critical care will be threatened all across the U.S. This is absolutely unacceptable. Women need the full range of reproductive health services to make important decisions about their physical and mental health, their bodies, their economic future, and their families’ well-being.”
“The majority of Nevadans agree, and I will continue to fight for reproductive rights and push back on extremist laws that deprive people of essential health care,” Senator Masto said.
State of Nevada Governor candidate Joe Lombardo applauded the decision, saying that power has been returned to the people and the state:
“This morning, the United States Supreme Court rightfully returned the power to the people and their elected state representatives. I’m Catholic and pro-life, and I believe that most Nevadans — no matter what their personal background is — agree with me and want fewer abortions, not more. As the U.S. Supreme Court decided today and as Nevadans decided long ago, this important issue was and should be decided by Nevada voters, and moving forward, I trust them to make the best decisions for our state.”
Mark Amodei, the only conservative congressman in Nevada, reaffirmed his commitment to Nevadans' choices on the matter.
Amodei said in a statement, “In the long-awaited Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that abortion is not a constitutional right, thus allowing each state to regulate it as they see fit. While I am personally pro-life and have a strong pro-life voting record in Congress, Nevadans voted by referendum in 1990 to legalize abortions beyond the minimum criteria of Roe v. Wade. If Nevadans wish to change those abortion laws to reflect the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling, this must be done through a proposed ballot initiative.”
Congressman Steven Horsford echoed a similar sentiment in his statement:
“The decision to end the protections of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court is unprecedented. For the first time in history, the highest court in the land has rolled back a right it had previously guaranteed. The institution is supposed to be one that expands and guarantees the rights of Americans in the face of political turmoil. Instead, it has become an arm of politicians and ideologues. That turn is even more clear in Justice Clarence Thomas’ opinion in this decision, where he suggests the court should reconsider other opinions that have protected access to contraception and the rights of LGBTQ+ people to marriage and privacy."
Congressman Horsford continued, “Women’s choices about their health and family planning should be theirs to make. Abortion will remain legal in Nevada thanks to the protections voters enshrined in 1990 with overwhelming margins. But because other states are revoking the right to choose, we may see our health system strained as women travel to Nevada for safe treatment.
Adam Laxalt, Nevada's former Attorney General and current Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, has called the decision "a historic victory for the sanctity of life and the principles of democratic self-determination."
Laxalt continued, "The Supreme Court has never had the expertise nor the authority to unilaterally legislate on abortion. After more than 50 years, that responsibility is poised to finally return to its rightful owners: the American people and their elected representatives. The people of Nevada have already voted to make abortion rights legal in our state and the Court’s decision on Roe doesn’t change settled law and it won’t distract voters from unaffordable prices, rising crime or the border crisis."
Congresswoman Dina Titus has deemed the overturned decision as an "attack on the right to control our bodies, health, and futures."
"Despite pledging to respect precedent, conservative justices have effectively struck down the legal right to abortion enshrined by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey." Titus said. "Abortion rights are human rights and should not be subject to the political whims of the few. In a country with high maternal mortality rates and limited access to paid family medical leave, reproductive rights are imperative for women to make individual choices about what is best for them and their families. Today’s decision is an assault on all women but particularly those living in minority, underserved, and impoverished communities. They will be forced to take drastic and unsafe measures to self-manage abortions or carry unwanted pregnancies to term."
Titus concluded her statement, "Thus begins the outrageous, but not surprising, erosion of long-standing human rights in this country."
Governor Steve Sisolak tweeted his disappointment about the Supreme Court decision, saying, "I’m disappointed to see this decision from the Supreme Court — it will rip away critical healthcare and the right to choose for millions & undoubtedly cause harm. As long as I’m Governor, Nevada will continue to fight for reproductive rights & expand access to healthcare."
I’ve committed to signing legislation that protects reproductive rights, including SB179 which repealed outdated criminal penalties for prescribing medically induced abortion, and SB94 which funds family planning services like contraception, maternal care and STI prevention.— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) June 24, 2022
Nevada’s 36th Lieutenant Governor Lisa Cano Burkhead shared her disapproval of the ruling in a statement on Twitter: “Today is a heartbreaking day in America. Government has no place to decide what a woman does with her own body.”
Congresswoman Susie Lee echoed similar sentiments as her Democratic colleagues, calling the decision and "inhumane attack" and highlighting the loss of life that may result from it. "The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down nearly half a century of precedent granting women the right to choose is an inhumane attack on our freedoms and is the direct result of anti-choice extremists’ cruel efforts to control women’s lives. Simply put, this decision will endanger lives and sets women's rights back a half-century.”
Lee said in her statement, "Make no mistake: women will die because of this decision. Families will struggle because of this decision, and Republicans have shown us that they aren’t interested in supporting them and their children.”
More reactions will be added as they are received by 13 Action News.