Bill removing ‘archaic’ restrictions on abortions passes Assembly |

Bill removing ‘archaic’ restrictions on abortions passes Assembly

The Assembly on Tuesday approved legislation removing what supporters described as archaic restrictions on abortions in Nevada.

The bill, SB179, sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Yvanna Cancela would repeal a requirement that physicians document a pregnant woman’s marital status. It would also remove a criminal penalty for anyone who causes an abortion without the advice of a physician.

But it drew opposition from primarily Republicans over the removal of a requirement doctors certify a woman’s age and marital status before performing an abortion.

Assemblywoman Michelle Gorelow, D-Las Vegas, pointed out that, in 1990, Nevada voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot question supporting women’s reproductive rights. She added that polls have consistently shown Nevada to be a pro-choice state.

But now, she said, women’s rights “are under attack at the federal level and across the country.

“I believe in a person’s right to individual choices,” said Assemblywoman Robin Titus, R-Wellington.

But she said removing the requirement that a physician document a woman’s age eliminates a safety net protecting women who may be being coerced into an abortion by some one. Titus pointed out that as a physician, she isn’t even allowed to give a minor an aspirin without parental permission so doctors need to confirm some one’s age before an abortion.

She was joined by several others including Alexis Hansen, R-Sparks, who said the age requirement protects against “bad actors who exploit women.”

SB179 was approved 27-13 on a mostly party line vote. The bill goes back to the Senate for concurrence on amendments to the original bill. The legislation cleared the Senate last month in a 12-9 vote with general opposition from Republican lawmakers.

Before the bill was heard, dozens of people rallied outside the Legislature.

Cancela addressed the crowd and described Nevada as “the shining beacon that we are for women’s rights.”

The Associated Press contributed to this article.