(Katelynn Richardson) – Nevada has launched a new abortion information page, Governor Steve Sisolak announced last week.
The page includes information on current Nevada law, details on different types of abortion procedures, and a link to an abortion provider directory. It also features a section warning of Crisis Pregnancy Centers that “seek to intercept women considering abortion.”
The page invites people to report “misleading services” offered by these facilities through a form on the website.
“CPCs often advertise that they provide medical services, advice, and counseling in a clinical setting,” the page states. “However, CPCs do not provide comprehensive, accurate, or evidence-based clinical information. Instead, the primary goal of CPCs is to dissuade people seeking abortions from obtaining the procedure.”
According to Nevada Department of Health and Human Services Public Information Officer Shannon Litz, reported complaints enable the state’s Chief Medical Officer to investigate.
“In the course of its duties, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance (HCQC) receives and investigates complaints against licensed health facilities, such as hospitals and nursing homes, under the law and regulations governing those facilities,” Litz said. “In the case of crisis pregnancy centers or other unlicensed facilities, HCQC’s complaint process allows the Bureau to assess for issues of health and safety and investigate under the authority of the state’s Chief Medical Officer.”
In his Oct. 10 announcement, Sisolak reaffirmed his commitment to “ensuring Nevadans have access to reproductive health care without fear or shame.”
“We will not abandon the right to an abortion, and we will protect those in need of care,” he said. “The right to abortion is codified in law and protects the right to abortion up to 24 weeks and after 24 weeks if the pregnant person’s health is at risk.”
Sisolak has taken up abortion as a key midterm issue, launching campaign ads and frequently criticizing opponent Joe Lombardo for his pro-life views.
Women’s Resource Medical Centers of Southern Nevada, a non-profit organization that has operated a pregnancy care clinic in Las Vegas since 1985, pushed back on the page’s representation of centers like itself.
“The strategic plan that is now in motion to shut down an industry by slandering pregnancy clinics, soliciting complaints and proposing legislation is egregious,” the center wrote in a Thursday statement. “In southern Nevada there are 9 abortion providers within a 35-mile radius and only 1 full service complimentary pregnancy care clinic.
“Is the cry from Elizabeth Warren joined by Nevada’s pro-abortion politicians to shut down this pregnancy clinic really considered pro-choice or pro-woman when the statistic clearly reveals that 93% of all abortion choices are driven by economic reasons and a lack of support?” the statement continues.
The center averages 8,000 annual patient visits and “saves an average of 2,000 babies who would have been aborted if their mothers could not access support for any other choice.” All services are free and funded by donations, according to the WRMCSN website.
“We hear from women every day at our Clinic express that there are no alternatives other than abortion,” said Women’s Resource Medical Centers CEO Esther Caruso-Golleher. “We believe them. We exist to be their support.”
Access to abortion in Nevada cannot be overturned without a direct vote of the people, since the law legalizing it, NRS 442.250, was passed by a general referendum in 1990.
“You do not have to be a Nevada resident to receive abortion care in the state,” the information page adds.
In September, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) announced her support for the Stop Anti-Abortion Disinformation Act, which she said would “crack down on false advertising about abortion services by these fake clinics.
Katelynn Richardson | The Center Square