Bill introduced on abortion consent
February 18, 2019
Nevada legislation introduced Monday seeks to change the state's abortion consent laws and remove a requirement that pregnant women be told about the emotional impacts of having one.
The legislation was filed in the state Senate on Monday. Democratic state Sen. Yvanna Cancela, a primary sponsor of the bill, has called the state's consent laws outdated and says the bill will bring those statutes in line with 2019 medical standards.
The legislation also removes a criminal penalty for anyone who causes an abortion without the advice of a physician.
The legislation makes Nevada one of the latest states where lawmakers hope to pass bills protecting abortion access.
"The changes at the Supreme Court have put a sense of urgency on me and policy makers across the country to make sure that our laws are as protective as possible of people's rights," Cancela said.
Controversy over abortion rights has already played out in Virginia, where a debate on late-term abortions spiraled into a political battle. President Donald Trump weighed in on the Virginia controversy, saying it could be a benefit to the anti-abortion movement.
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In Nevada, the bill removes a requirement that a physician tell a woman seeking an abortion how far along she is into the pregnancy. Current Nevada state law requires physicians to tell women about the emotional and physical impacts of an abortion. The bill removes that language and instead states that physicians would explain the procedure and the "discomforts and risks" that might follow afterward. It would also require physicians to offer to answer any questions a woman might have.
"It's going to be a fight," Cancela told a group of NARAL Pro-Choice Nevada members on Monday. "It's going to be a bill that requires a lot of thoughtful conversation, and (in) some cases, deeply personal conversations."
Melissa Clement, executive director of Nevada Right to Life, said there can be a negative emotional impact for women who have an abortion. Clement said she has too many friends who have had abortions struggle with alcohol and drug abuse because of its impact.