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Nevada State Moves Forward With A Pro-Choice Abortion Bill

by Christina Montoya Fiedler

All eyes are on a woman's right to choose as states battle between abortion laws that would either protect Roe vs. Wade, or stand to over turn it. While the latter of the two seem to be gaining ground, Nevada is moving in a completely different direction. The Nevada state legislature passed a pro-choice abortion bill in the face of anti-abortion bills in other parts of the nation.

Senate Bill 179 — commonly called the Trust Nevada Women Act — would remove criminal penalties for abortions within the state, some dating back as far as 1911, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.

It would also remove the requirement for doctors to ask about age and marital status, as well as discuss the emotional and physical ramifications of an abortion.

Next, the bill goes to senate for final approval before it lands on the desk of Nevada Governor, Steve Sisolak, who is expected to sign it, according to Vox.

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Proponents worry that not gathering information, such as age, would miss the opportunity to help victims of trafficking and abuse.

While the bill doesn't increase a woman's access to safe abortions in the state, it serves as a marker in the sand for Nevada's pro-choice stance.

“It’s a big moment,” Caroline Mello Roberson, Nevada state director for NARAL Pro-Choice Nevada, said to The Las Vegas Review Journal. “I think that this is an opportunity for Nevadans to stand up for something good, which is protecting that these decision are deeply personal and not to be made by politicians.”

In 1990, Nevada voted to allow abortions up to the 24 week of pregnancy, a law that solidified that state's pro-Roe vs. Wade stance, according to Pro-Choice America.

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Yesterday was a national day of action for women's rights with #stopthebans rallies happening across the country.

"Politicians, take notice: If you come for our reproductive freedom, you'll have to get through ALL of us," the ACLU said in a statement, according to USA Today.

Last week, Alabama's Governor signed one of the strictest anti-abortion bills in the nation that would ban nearly all abortions, making it a federal crime for a doctor to perform one unless a woman's life is in danger, according to NPR. Other states have passed heartbeat bills, making it illegal to perform an abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

This year alone, eight states have passed bills limiting abortions, according to The Las Vegas Review Journal.

If Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 landmark case that legalized abortion, is overturned it would give states the final word on abortion rights, according to NPR. That's why so many states are eager to get pro-choice resolutions written into law.

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With the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the majority of the Supreme Court is now conservative, making the overturning of Roe vs. Wade a viable possibility, according to Politico.

Other states have yet to show their stances on abortion by passing bills that tighten or relax existing abortion rights but as the debate grows, it will be harder to get by without taking a stand either way.