By Nevada Right to Life
Could Nevada be the next state to eliminate the popular and longstanding ban on taxpayer funded abortions?
Currently, in Nevada, Medicaid only covers abortion in the case of rape, incest or if the life of the mother is at risk. The ACLU, on behalf of the Silver State Hope Fund, filed a lawsuit on August 28 against the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services seeking to reverse the ban on Medicaid funding for abortion in the state of Nevada. The suit is based on application of the newly ratified state equal rights amendment which prohibits the denial of individual rights based on sex (one of ten classes now protected).
During hearings concerning the equal rights amendment, the lobbyist from Nevada Right to Life was called “Chicken Little” for warning that the ERA would be used to eliminate the ban on taxpayer funding of abortion. In the suit, ACLU contends, “[t]he coverage ban further entrenches inequality on the basis of capacity for pregnancy, a sex-linked characteristic.” Apparently the sky is falling after all.
ACLU pulls no punches in the complaint. It seeks to redefine elective abortion as “medically necessary.” The state of Nevada and Medicaid have extensive coverage of contraception and sterilization. ACLU would like to redefine pregnancy as an illness and abortion as just another treatment or, even more chillingly, a contraception method.
Further, ACLU seeks to reduce poverty and the high number of unborn persons of color through abortion, which seemingly can only be done if the state pays to terminate these individuals. Presumably, not enough brown and black babies are killed by the state of Nevada and the ACLU asks the Court to intervene to increase those numbers. Sections 32-34.
The complaint also engages in gender warfare: “[t]he coverage ban discriminates on the basis of sex because it is based on, and perpetuates, invidious sex-based stereotypes. This includes the stereotype that women are, by nature, destined to become mothers.” It is surprising that the ACLU chooses to use terms like women and mothers, terms they have tried to erase at other times.
Nevada’s ERA was adopted through a process that required the legislature to consider the measure in two consecutive legislative sessions before presenting it to voters as a ballot measure. The ERA began as an emergency measure in 2019 during the last four days of the session. Democrats played hide and seek with committee hearings and the measure passed out of committees behind the bar. ERA was passed by the next legislature during COVID lockdown when citizens and lobbyists were not allowed into the building. Only one hearing was held and as it was one of the first “zoom” hearings, many advocates were unable to present their case. The Nevada legislature failed to properly vet the amendment and voters approved it in 2022 without sufficient understanding of the unintended consequences.
It is important to remember that Medicaid dollars are limited. Increasing coverage of elective procedures will endanger medically necessary coverage for all.
The suit was filed in the Eighth Judicial District Court in Clark County, Nevada. This story is developing.