Southern Nevada representatives vote to codify abortion access into federal law


Bill passes along party lines, faces doubt in Senate

Abortion rights supporters gather to protest Texas SB 8 in front of Edinburg City Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in Edinburg, Texas. The nation’s most far-reaching curb on abortions since they were legalized a half-century ago took effect Wednesday in Texas, with the Supreme Court silent on an emergency appeal to put the law on hold.(Joel Martinez/The Monitor via AP)

WASHINGTON (KLAS) — All three U.S. House representatives from Southern Nevada voted in favor Friday for the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill that would codify a woman’s access to abortion into federal law.

The legislation passed by the House would guarantee a woman’s right to an abortion, but it’s a largely symbolic gesture because Republican opposition will doom the measure in the Senate.

The House vote is part of an effort by Democrats to circumvent a new Texas law that has placed that access under threat. They said abortion rights are under threat after the Supreme Court allowed the Texas law that would ban most abortions in the state to take effect earlier this month.

The bill passed Friday would codify the monumental Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, which gives a woman the right to terminate her pregnancy before fetal viability or past fetal viability if necessary when her life is at risk.

Reps. Steven Horsford, Susie Lee and Dina Titus, all Democrats, voted in favor of the bill.

“Today, Democrats in the House passed the Women’s Health Protection Act, legislation I cosponsored which codifies the constitutional right to an abortion found in Roe v. Wade,” Titus said in a statement. “I’ll continue to fight attacks on reproductive health care.”

“It’s simple: politics doesn’t belong in the doctor’s office,” Lee said in a statement. “Women should be able to keep their personal health care decisions between themselves and those that they trust. Reproductive rights are under attack across the country, and this bill is critical to ensuring that women will always have the right to make health care decisions based on what is best for them and their circumstances.”

“Across the nation, women and all birthing people are facing a dangerous onslaught of anti-abortion laws that threaten their health and freedom,” Horsford said in a statement. “To protect reproductive rights, Congress must enshrine Roe v. Wade into law. I was proud to vote for the Women’s Health Protection Act, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to quickly bring this bill to President Biden’s desk. Access to abortion care should not depend on your ZIP code.”

Nevada Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen, both Democrats, have pledged to vote in favor of the bill if a vote moves forward in the Senate.

Access to abortion is enshrined in Nevada’s Constitution up to 24 weeks and after 24 weeks if the mother’s health is at risk. Any changes to it would require several votes in the Legislature and a ballot initiative.

Republican gubernatorial candidate and former Nevada Sen. Dean Heller said if elected he would work to ban abortion in Nevada after six weeks except in cases of rape or incest.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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