Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Nevada Independent: What Sisolak or Lombardo Could (or Couldn’t) Do on Abortion as Governor - Steve Sisolak for Governor of Nevada

Nevada Independent: What Sisolak or Lombardo Could (or Couldn’t) Do on Abortion as Governor

“The governor still has the power to shape abortion access in Nevada, including actions such as implementing executive orders, influencing or vetoing measures passed in the Legislature or determining funding priorities as it relates to reproductive health.”

While Lombardo has publicly declared that Nevada’s abortion protections are “settled law,” it’s clear through his constant waffling on the issue, extreme anti-choice endorsements and private conversations that he has no intention of protecting Nevadan’s fundamental rights. There are many ways an anti-choice governor could restrict access to abortion in Nevada, even without overriding Nevada’s current protections.

Nevada Independent: What Sisolak or Lombardo Could (or Couldn’t) Do on Abortion as Governor

Tabitha Mueller

November 5, 2022

Key points:

  • The governor still has the power to shape abortion access in Nevada, including actions such as implementing executive orders, influencing or vetoing measures passed in the Legislature or determining funding priorities as it relates to reproductive health.
  • A governor could shape regulations by deciding who directs the Department of Health and Human Services and the Division of Public and Behavioral Health. Those leaders could then, in theory, implement processes such as mandatory waiting periods or mandatory ultrasounds, or change hospital admitting standards, among other restrictive regulations.
  • Another avenue for a governor’s ability to shape abortion access lies in executive orders and information sharing. 
  • In October, Sisolak’s administration launched a website to provide information about abortion services in the state. The website also allows patients to report crisis pregnancy centers that can sometimes use deceptive tactics to make it difficult to exercise the right to an abortion. A new governor could choose to take down this website if desired. 
  • If re-elected, Sisolak has said he will seek to codify the executive order protecting access to abortion for out-of-state abortion seekers into state law. Lombardo initially said he would consider repealing it before walking back that statement
  • Finally, the governor, who directs state funding priorities, could help decide whether to put money toward reproductive services in the state budget. 
  • A governor could also include crisis pregnancy centers as part of the funding allocated to family planning services, as long as the center could fit the definition of a “medical facility” as defined by state law and be licensed accordingly. 
  • In audio obtained by The Nevada Independent from a Carson City Republican Women luncheon in mid-September, the executive director of Nevada Right to Life, Melissa Clement, pointed to Lombardo as someone who could shift regulations around abortion protections.
  • “[Lombardo] donates to the crisis pregnancy center down in Vegas … He got in trouble, because he went to all the different fundraisers for those organizations,” Clement said. “They can do things like require [sic] women to look at an ultrasound beforehand, so they know what they’re doing.”

Read the full article here.

###