Reproductive rights petition initiative challenged

Published: Oct. 11, 2023 at 3:45 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - On September 14th, 2023, Reproductive Freedom for all Nevada, Planned Parenthood Votes, and the ACLU filed this petition initiative with the Secretary of States Office.

It calls for reproductive rights to be placed in the Nevada Constitution through a vote of the people.

But before that happens the petition initiative had to make it out of the Secretary of States Office, and enough signatures would have to be gathered.

“We have to get slightly over 102,000 signatures,” says Lindsey Harmon, President of Nevadans for Reproductive Freedom Ballot Committee. “Split across the 4 congressional districts.”

The group has until June to collect those signatures.

But that timeline has just been shortened. On October 5, 2023, a complaint was filed in Carson District Court.

The Coalition for Parents and Children, a political action committee, alleges the petition initiative is overbroad. They say if approved reproductive rights would apply to everything from prenatal care, to birth control, management of miscarriage and infertility care. The Plaintiff calls this “logrolling” and says state law requires such petition to be “single subject.”

The complaint says providers of health care are mentioned in the petition which if passed by voters would mean dentists could perform abortions in the third trimester. Other allegations: transgenders will receive gender-affirming care under reproductive freedom.

And the complaint states Nevada’s Health Exchange would raise its premiums to customers as infertility treatments are expensive and would be required under reproductive freedom.

Harmon says her group planned for challenges like this when they filed the petition initiative.

She says this challenge does not dampen their resolve.

“I think we will not only collect enough signatures, we will outperform those numbers,” says Harmon. “I anticipate that we will get somewhere near 200,000 signatures.”

Our calls to Jason Guinasso the attorney for the plaintiffs went unanswered. The case will be heard in Carson City in late November.