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Nevada tees up abortion vote as pro-lifers continue to fight 2024 ballot measures

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Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jul 2, 2024 / 16:20 pm (CNA).

As Nevada becomes the sixth state to add a pro-abortion amendment to its 2024 ballot, pro-life groups are strategizing on how to stop a slew of abortion amendments from being passed in states across the country.

Nevada currently allows abortion until 24 weeks of pregnancy. If passed, the amendment, which qualified to be on the ballot last week, would further expand abortion by establishing it as a “fundamental right” to be exercised up until fetal viability “without interference from the state.”

The amendment, which must be approved by a simple majority of voters in two consecutive elections, would only allow state interference with abortion when it is in the interest of “protecting, maintaining, or improving the health of an individual who is seeking abortion.”

Montie Chavez, a representative for the Archdiocese of Las Vegas, told CNA that the Nevada Catholic Conference is working with both parishes and non-Catholic faith leaders to take an “ecumenical and interfaith stance” against the abortion amendment.

“We believe that God alone is the author of life and the sole arbiter of death,” he said, adding that the “pernicious amendment would have terrible consequences for families in Nevada.”

Winning with ‘deceptive’ messaging

Including Nevada, six states are set to vote on pro-abortion amendments in November, and seven are considering adding measures to their ballots.

Numerous states, meanwhile, have already passed pro-abortion measures since Roe v. Wade was repealed in June 2022.

Kelsey Pritchard, the director of state public affairs at Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, told CNA that her group is dedicating $92 million to a voter contact campaign.

“Pro-abortion activists’ No. 1 tactic is to spread misinformation on pregnant women’s ability to receive emergency care under pro-life laws because they know they will lose if they campaign on enshrining late-term abortion,” she said.

Pritchard pointed to Florida, where an initiative to fight the state’s 2024 pro-abortion amendment was just launched this week.

The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops has pledged to fight the abortion amendment. According to Pritchard, Gov. Ron DeSantis is “leading the fight” by “explaining the extreme measure’s deceptive language.”

“With Vote No on 4 Florida launching today and Gov. DeSantis’ leadership,” she said, “the pro-life coalition is united to stop the abortion industry.”

Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, warned that the 2024 pro-abortion measures will “have devastating effects on the unborn and women in states after passing.” 

Mancini told CNA that rather than being based on genuine support, the abortion industry’s victories thus far have been due to what she called “deceptive” messaging.

“Tragically, we have seen their efforts play out in many of the states, with millions of dollars from national pro-abortion special interest groups being funneled into misleading, fear-mongering pro-abortion campaigns,” Mancini said.

“These confuse and scare voters into approving state constitutional amendments which override any existing or future pro-life policies, even the most modest protections for women and children.”

Kristi Hamrick, a representative for Students for Life Action, told CNA that she believes the many abortion amendments popping up across the country are just “glorified get-out-the-vote efforts for Joe Biden and the Democratic Party.”

The Biden administration has moved to use abortion as a major winning issue this election year. Vice President Kamala Harris has been making stops across the country on a “Reproductive Freedoms” tour for months, repeatedly slamming Republicans for passing abortion regulations.

During last week’s debate, former President Donald Trump argued that the Biden administration plans to “restore Roe” and bring about unlimited, late-term abortions, something that he said is out of step with what Americans want.  

“[Biden is] willing to, as we say, rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month and kill the baby. Nobody wants that to happen,” Trump said. “We don’t think that’s a good thing, we think it’s a radical thing. We think the Democrats are the radicals, not the Republicans.”

Hamrick argued that Democratic hopes to use the abortion amendments to increase voter turnout will be disappointed come November.

Citing a recent Rasmussen poll that found 66% of Americans oppose late-term abortion, Hamrick believes there is not as much enthusiasm for the abortion position as some Democrats hope.

But to win, she said the pro-life movement needs to up its messaging.

“The focus needs to be on late-term abortion extremism because these [amendments] … offer basically unlimited abortion, taxpayer-funded abortion. They are radical and extreme,” she explained.

“We’re focusing on abortion extremism [and] late-term abortion and the inhumanity of that, and the fact that women are being harmed by the abortion environment that we’re allowing,” she added.

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