For Immediate Release: Wednesday, April 14, 2021
NARAL Pro-Choice Nevada Celebrates the Advancement of SB 364 in the State Senate
NARAL applauds members of the Nevada state Senate for advancing bill to ensure survivors of sexual assault can access time-sensitive emergency contraception
Nevada — Yesterday, the Nevada state Senate unanimously voted to advance SB 364, which would ensure that survivors of sexual assault can access time-sensitive emergency contraception (EC) in Nevada emergency rooms. The bill, introduced by state Sen. Melanie Scheible (D-Las Vegas), passed out of the Senate Health Committee last week by a unanimous vote and will now be considered by the state Assembly.
NARAL Pro-Choice Nevada Director Caroline Mello Roberson released the following statement in response to SB 364 passing in the state Senate:
“NARAL Pro-Choice Nevada applauds our state Senators for taking this critical step to ensure that survivors of sexual assault are able to access the time-sensitive care they need. SB 364 is a critical step toward breaking down barriers to care and moves our state closer to ensuring every body can access the care they need, when they need it. Nevadans are proud to live in a state with a long history of trusting women and pregnant people to make their own personal healthcare decisions. With this bill, the Silver State can continue to live up to our values. We look forward to seeing SB 364 pass in the Assembly.”
The Nevada Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence said:
“SB 364 is important to ensure that hospitals assist victim-survivors of sexual assault during their most vulnerable time. Being told they cannot access emergency contraception at the hospital and instead must go to or travel to a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) location in Nevada to access this critical piece of health care can be very traumatizing and taxing for victim-survivors. Choosing to undergo the SANE exam, engage with law enforcement, and receive emergency contraception are and should be separate decisions. SB 364 will ensure that all victim-survivors across the state of Nevada can access this important preventative medication.”
The bill sponsor, Nevada state Senator Melanie Schiebele said:
“I’m proud that SB 364 provides Nevada with the opportunity to build on the strides made by former Asm. Connie Munk to ensure that survivors of assault are able to access both the information and the care they need. No Nevadan should be forced to navigate multiple barriers in order to access time-sensitive care—especially in the hours or days following a traumatic event. We hope that with this bill our state can continue its legacy of ensuring that all Nevadans are able to make decisions about if, when, and how to raise a family, on their own terms.”
An estimated 25,000 women in the United States become pregnant as a result of sexual assault each year, and statistics suggest that 22,000 of those pregnancies could be prevented if every sexual assault victim-survivor had timely access to EC. There are multiple types of FDA-approved emergency contraceptives, including the copper intrauterine device (IUD) and two types of pills that are commonly referred to as the ”morning after pill.” Depending on the pill, it can be effective if taken within 3-5 days of unprotected sex.
SB 364 is a continuation of the successful 2019 effort, led by former Assemblywoman Connie Munk (D-Las Vegas), to require Nevada hospitals to provide survivors with information on where to access EC. EC is a safe and effective way to prevent a pregnancy—it does not end a pregnancy.
Emergency rooms often serve as an entry point into the healthcare system for people who have been sexually assaulted. It is essential that emergency rooms provide access to time-sensitive emergency contraception for survivors of sexual assault. Survivors should not need to seek this care from other providers and there are some who may not be able to see a primary care doctor for the care they need.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.