Reproductive rights advocates are trying to put the question of abortion access on the 2024 ballot in the battleground state of Nevada.
On Thursday, a coalition including Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice Nevada and the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada filed a petition with the secretary of state’s office to secure a ballot question about enshrining abortion protections in the state constitution.
A copy of the proposed amendment was first shared with NBC News.
The groups need to collect 103,000 signatures from registered voters by June 26 to get their proposal on the November 2024 ballot. If it passes with a simple majority, it will appear again on the 2026 ballot, because a second passage is required to change the constitution.
Having an abortion question on the ballot in Nevada could help boost Democratic turnout in the presidential election by tapping into the fervor around the issue, which played a key role in the 2022 midterms nationally and in Nevada, where a Democrat won a U.S. Senate race last year by fewer than 8,000 votes.
“The fallout of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade has shown us that we have already suffered one year too long without the guaranteed right to reproductive freedom, and we simply cannot afford to stand by and allow any further encroachment on the fundamental right of Nevadans to determine their own reproductive lives and care,” Lindsey Harmon, the executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes Nevada, said in a statement.
Nevada law ensures abortion protections for up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. The proposed constitutional language would provide similar protections by banning abortion restrictions before fetal viability, ultimately to be determined by physicians. A constitutional amendment would make it harder to undo the protections.
The proposed language says the state “may not penalize, prosecute, or take adverse action against any individual based on the outcome of a pregnancy of the individual, or against any licensed health care provider who acts consistent with the applicable scope and practice of providing reproductive health care services to an individual who has granted their voluntary consent.”
“Neither may the State penalize, prosecute, or take adverse action against any individual or entity for aiding or assisting another individual in the exercise of the rights established by this initiative,” it adds.
A similar initiative is in the works in Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis, a 2024 presidential candidate, signed a six-week abortion ban into law this year.