CARSON CITY – Nevada physicians today applauded U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto for voting in support of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would have protected the federal right to access abortion care. The necessary and long-overdue legislation was voted on as the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to strike down Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case guaranteeing the constitutional right to abortion. Republicans in the Senate defeated the bill, which had been passed in the U.S. House of Representatives already.
“By voting in support of the Women’s Health Protection Act, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto voted to ensure Nevadans and all Americans maintain their right to make their own decisions around abortion,” said Dr. Ashley Doruelo, a Las Vegas OB/GYN and member of the Committee to Protect Health Care. “Safe abortion health care should be accessible to anyone who needs or wants one, for any reason, regardless of what state you live in. On a daily basis, we see the dangers and potential burden pregnancy can cause. We see the strain it has on a pre-eclamptic woman’s heart and lungs. We hear the gut-wrenching cries when there is no fetal heartbeat. We discuss the resuscitative efforts and prolonged NICU stay for a lethal anomaly. It should be a person’s choice to continue or discontinue a pregnancy. Safe abortion care is essential health care. We thank Sen. Cortez Masto for working to protect our patients.”
If the Supreme Court does indeed strike down Roe v. Wade in its final decision, abortion within 24 weeks of pregnancy would still be allowed in Nevada under a state law passed via referendum and supported by nearly two-thirds of Nevada voters. A direct majority vote from Nevadans would be required to overturn the protection. By protecting the legal right and expanding access to abortion care, WHPA would override any state bans on abortion. WHPA would guarantee access to abortion care even if the Supreme Court strikes down or weakens Roe v. Wade in its pending ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
“As a physician, I see the personal decisions patients have to make when confronted with an unwanted pregnancy or health complications from a desired pregnancy, and their decisions should be made in the privacy of the patient-doctor relationship, without political interference,” said Dr. Carlos Inocencio, a family medicine specialist in Elko and member of the Committee to Protect Health Care. “I’m grateful to Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto for putting the health and safety of Nevadans first, even as some extremist politicians in Carson City and Washington, D.C. try to take away abortion care access. Doctors will continue to work to ensure patients can get the abortion care they need to live their lives and remain healthy, and we’re glad to have Sen. Cortez Masto respect the sanctity of this relationship.”
A leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s decision, while not legally binding, indicated that the court intends to overturn Roe v. Wade. At least 13 states have passed so-called trigger laws that ban abortions as soon as Roe v. Wade is rescinded. An estimated 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortions if Roe is overturned.
About the Committee to Protect Health Care
The Committee to Protect Health Care is a national mobilization of doctors, health care professionals, and advocates who are building a pro-patient health care majority in Congress and in states so that we can live in an America where everyone has the health care they need to thrive. To learn more: www.committeetoprotect.org