For Immediate Release: May 31 2019
NARAL Celebrates As Nevada Governor Signs Groundbreaking Trust Nevada Women Act
NARAL members from Reno to Las Vegas voiced their support for this historic legislation, ensured its passage
Today, in an historic move to protect and uphold the reproductive freedom of Nevadans, Governor Steve Sisolak signed the Trust Nevada Women Act (TNWA), SB 179 into law. The TNWA, which passed the Senate with bi-partisan support, is one of the most progressive and forward-thinking pieces of legislation on reproductive freedom debated or passed this legislative session across the country. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Yvanna Cancela, will remove antiquated abortion restrictions and bring Nevada law in line with Nevadans’ overwhelmingly pro-choice values.
NARAL, along with hundreds of activists from across the state, led the fight to pass the TNWA and advocated for the 83% of Nevadans who want abortion to be safe, legal, and free from government interference.
“Today is a historic day for women and families across the Silver State. The signing of the Trust Nevada Women Act into law, which will finally put Nevada laws in line with Nevadans’ values, is the culmination of a groundbreaking election where Nevada chose overwhelmingly to protect women’s rights and empowered women to lead us into the future,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Nevada State Director, Caroline Mello Roberson. “But this victory is not just ours, it’s a moment we share with women and families across the country as we send a signal that reproductive freedom matters, and Nevadans are here to fight for you.
“This triumph was at the hands of the thousands of activists who showed up, traveled for hours, and put everything on the line to make their voices heard,” Mello Roberson continued. “We applaud our steadfast allies in the legislature, our fearless bill sponsor, Senator Yvanna Cancela, and our pro-choice champion, Governor Sisolak who showed us today that protecting reproductive freedom is a top priority in our great state. But there’s still work to do. NARAL members are battle born and will fight until reproductive freedom is a reality for all Nevadans.”
The TNWA comes as a new wave of extreme bans on abortion is sweeping the country, restricting reproductive freedom and representing an all-out assault on abortion access. As Nevada repeals it antiquated abortion restrictions to bring its values in line with the 7 in 10 Americans who support safe and legal access to abortion care, Alabama’s governor has signed a total abortion ban into law, with no exceptions for rape or incest, and Georgia’s new abortion restriction would make the procedure illegal before many women even know they’re pregnant. Overall, thirty states have introduced, passed, or signed into law bans on abortion this year alone.
“Today, Governor Steve Sisolak showed the country what real leadership looks like when he signed the Trust Nevada Women Act to end out-of-date restrictions on reproductive freedom for all Nevada women and families,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America President, Ilyse Hogue. “With reproductive rights under attack across the country, Governor Sisolak’s signature on this crucial legislation shows that pro-choice advocates are still working hard to fight for a woman’s right to choose and that the women of Nevada have a strong ally in Governor Sisolak and the Nevada state legislature.
“Elections have consequences, and NARAL was proud to invest in Nevada in 2016 and 2018 so that we could elect the pro-choice champions like Governor Sisolak that made the success of the Trust Nevada Women Act possible,” Hogue continued. “Our hardworking members and allies on the ground never stopped pushing to support this legislation and the elected officials that stood up to end antiquated abortion restrictions that do not match the values of the Silver State. We will keep fighting to protect access to reproductive health care and make sure that reproductive freedom is a reality for every Nevadan.”
NARAL and its thousands of members proudly led the push for the TNWA, hosting weekly phone banking events in Reno and Las Vegas, testifying on behalf of the bill, and creating the need for multiple overflow rooms at each of the bill’s public hearings. NARAL members also embarked on four “Feminist Road Trips” to the capitol in Carson City throughout the legislative session. In a recent op-ed in the Las Vegas Sun, NARAL Nevada State Director Caroline Mello Roberson explained how essential the TNWA is to improving the health and well-being of Nevada women and families.
In 2018, voters sent a clear rebuke to the Trump/Republican agenda, electing a Democratic supermajority in the legislature. Nevada also elected its first Democratic Governor since 1999, is now represented by two female Senators, and secured the first majority women legislature in the country, with a pro-choice majority in the State legislature and a supermajority in the House.
In 2016, NARAL members were a part of the successful coalition that flipped the Nevada State legislature from anti-choice to pro-choice control. As a result, the 2017 legislative session saw the first bill in more than 18 years to protect and expand access to affordable birth control for all Nevadans. NARAL members have continued to build on that work during the 2019 legislative session and are heading into the 2020 election cycle with the wind at their backs.