NARAL: Against Backdrop of Extreme Bans on Abortion, Bright Spots Shine in Nevada, Illinois

As anti-choice politicians and the Trump administration wage an all-out assault on reproductive freedom in states from Alabama to Ohio to Louisiana, bright spots shined through this past week in Nevada and Illinois. Bucking the trend of states attacking reproductive freedom, these two states just made milestone headway in our fight to protect the fundamental right to abortion that is enshrined in Roe v. Wade and more at stake than ever.

On Friday, in an historic move to protect and uphold the reproductive freedom of Nevadans, Governor Steve Sisolak signed the Trust Nevada Women Act (TNWA) into law. Passed with bipartisan support, the TNWA is one of the most progressive and forward-thinking pieces of legislation on reproductive freedom this year. The bill will remove antiquated abortion restrictions and bring Nevada law in line with Nevadans’ overwhelmingly pro-choice values.

NARAL Pro-Choice Nevada’s thousands of members, along with hundreds of activists from across the state, led the fight to pass 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.

Nevada’s TWNA, the culmination of groundbreaking pro-choice wins in the 2018 midterm elections, is a triumph for tireless advocates of reproductive freedom everywhere and for the 83% of Nevadans who want abortion to be safe, legal, and free from government interference.

Nevada isn’t the only state stepping up to secure women’s right to safe and legal abortion. Over the weekend,the Illinois Senate passed the Reproductive Health Act to codify Roe v. Wade and provide additional certainty that women have a right to abortion in Illinois. Now heading to Governor J.B. Pritzker’s desk where it is expected to be signed in the coming days, Illinois’ bill, powered by the tireless efforts of a strong coalition of advocates on the ground, sends the clear message that Illinois takes women’s health, rights, and lives seriously.

And that’s not all: this month, Vermont sent a bill to protect the right to abortion in state law to the governor, Washington passed legislation to end coverage bans for reproductive care, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are considering legislation to protect the right to safe and legal abortion, and Maine is moving legislation to safeguard reproductive freedom and lift abortion coverage bans. Each of these states are stepping up to protect reproductive freedom, signifying that even amidst ongoing attacks on reproductive freedom, bright spots shine on.