NARAL applauds members of the Nevada state Assembly for passing bill to require emergency contraception be made available to sexual assault survivors
Nevada — On Friday, May 21, 2021, the Nevada state Assembly passed 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 in the state Senate last month and has now moved to Gov. Steve Sisolak for his signature or veto.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Southwest Regional Director Caroline Mello Roberson released the following statement in response to the passage of SB 364:
“NARAL Pro-Choice Nevada applauds our state Assembly for passing this critical bill to ensure that survivors of sexual assault are able to access time-sensitive emergency contraception in all Nevada emergency rooms. SB 364 is urgently needed to break down barriers to care and bring our state one step 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 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 celebrating once again when Governor Sisolak signs SB 364 into law.”
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 form of EC, 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 be forced 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.