Nevada state senator calls wave of anti-abortion laws 'personally frightening'

Nevada state Sen. Yvanna Cancela (D) told Hill.TV that she finds the recent wave of strict anti-abortion laws across country “personally frightening.”

“I think what’s happening in other states is personally frightening,” Cancela told Krystal Ball during an interview on “Rising” that aired Tuesday.

But Cancela said she is encouraged by Nevada's long history of defending women’s access to abortion, noting that Roe v. Wade protections have been codified in state law.

Voters in 1990 overwhelming approved a ballot initiative that created a statute to protect abortion rights, one that would require a statewide vote to reverse.

“I’m so grateful to stand on their shoulders and it’s all part of Nevada’s long history of defending a women’s right to make decisions over her own body,” Cancela said.

Nevada this year seated the nation’s first majority-female state legislature. Since then a wave of bills prioritizing women’s health and safety have been introduced.

“We’ve had discussions about things that I’m not sure would have raised into the forefront of conversation but for having a majority female legislature,” Cancela said.

In May, the state assembly passed a bill that would decriminalize abortion procedures. The legislation also would repeal rules that require doctors to ask a woman’s age and marital status before performing the procedure.

The measure is expected to go to the governor’s desk and become law.

The legislative action comes as a number of conservative states move forward with implementing a range of abortion restrictions in hopes of eventually overturning Roe v. Wade.

A week before Nevada's state legislature passed its abortion decriminalization measure, Alabama passed the most stringent abortion restrictions in the country. The measure bans the procedure in virtually all instances, including rape and incest, unless a mother’s life is at risk.

—Tess Bonn