Governor signs abortion and family planning bills

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CARSON CITY, NV (KOLO) - Governor Sisolak has signed into law two bills he says will "make a difference in the lives of countless Nevada women and men, but also send a message to the rest of the country that Nevada will NOT go backwards when it comes to reproductive rights and health."

Photo courtesy Governor's Office

Senate Bill 179, the Trust Nevada Women Act, repeals what the Governor calls outdated criminal penalties for abortion, and aligns "antiquated informed consent laws with today’s medical standards."

Senate Bill 94 allocates $6 million for statewide family planning grants, funding a recommendation he made in his budget.

Sisolak Tweeted, "These bills wouldn't be possible without our incredible female-majority #nvleg -- thanks to them, Nevada is leading the way in pro-woman and pro-family policies."

Governor's Remarks as Prepared for Delivery:

Good afternoon and thank you all for being here. Wow, what a great group of Nevadans! I’d like to congratulate each and every one of you on today’s victory. You all are proof that organizing gets the job done!

I’d also like to recognize Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, Assembly Majority Leader Teresa Benitez-Thompson, and Senators Yvanna Cancela and Julia Ratti for their incredible leadership on these bills. Unfortunately, they cannot be with us today because they’re on the floor right now.

Today I’m going to sign two important bills that not only will make a difference in the lives of countless Nevada women and men, but also send a message to the rest of the country that Nevada is not going to go backwards when it comes to reproductive rights and health.

Senate Bill 179, also known as the Trust Nevada Women Act, is common-sense legislation that brings Nevada’s laws in line with Nevadans’ values.

Nevada has a long history of trusting the women of our state to make their own reproductive health care decisions and protecting the right to reproductive freedom.

Following the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade decision, Nevada’s legislature enacted a law affirming a woman’s right to choose.

In 1990, the Campaign for Choice further codified those protections through a ballot initiative – Question 7. Voters overwhelmingly supported the measure, and today, the law cannot be changed without a vote of the people.

This bill repeals outdated criminal penalties for abortion and brings in line antiquated informed consent laws with today’s medical standards.

In light of increasing attacks at the federal level and in other states such as Georgia, Alabama, Missouri, and Louisiana, SB179 reaffirms Nevada’s commitment to protecting reproductive freedom and access to reproductive health care.

I have been disappointed by the recent uptick in efforts in other states to restrict women’s right to choose, and I am especially proud today to be a Nevadan, where we protect a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her own body.

Today I’m also going to sign another important bill for reproductive health care in our state.

As governor, I am committed to adequately funding women’s health care. Currently, Nevada ranks last in the nation in the number of women who have a dedicated health care provider. We don’t fare much better when it comes to cervical cancer screenings or other forms of family planning.

That’s going to change. And that’s why I included in my executive budget three million dollars per year to provide more of these life-saving services statewide.

Senate Bill 94 allocates six million dollars over the biennium for statewide family planning grants – fully funding the recommendation in my budget.

Between 2001 and 2014, the share of Nevada women who needed, and had access to, public family planning services plummeted from 43 percent to just ten percent.

In 2017, Nevada stepped up to create a state-funded family planning grant program and provided $1 million in funding over the biennium, which was a great start to getting back on track.

And as the federal government in Washington continues to cut funding for women’s health care, we are stepping up to ensure that all Nevadans, regardless of their ZIP code, have access to reproductive health care.

Adequate family planning services are not only crucial to the well-being and self-sufficiency of Nevada’s women, they’re also essential to the health and development of our communities and can lower rates of maternal and infant mortality and illness.

Our family planning service providers perform a critical function, especially in low-income and rural communities, and this boost in funding will allow them to expand to serve even more Nevadans.

I’m so proud to sign both these bills today, and of course, this would not be possible without our incredible female-majority legislature. Thanks to you, Nevada is leading the way in pro-woman and pro-family policies that will make life better for all Nevadans across the state.

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