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Nevada decriminalizes, removes some abortion restrictions
The Nevada state Assembly on Tuesday passed a bill removing some requirements to obtain an abortion in the wake of a number of conservative states ramping up restrictions on the procedure.
The bill, passed largely along party lines, repeals requirements that physicians tell women about the "physical and emotional implications" of an abortion and determine a woman's age and marital status before performing the procedure. It also decriminalizes giving a woman medication to induce an abortion without the advice of a doctor.
"When the rest of the country may feel hopeless, may feel bleak, they should look to Nevada as the shining beacon that we are for women's rights," state Sen. Yvanna Cancela (D) said to supporters of the bill outside the Nevada legislature Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.
The Nevada Assembly is the nation's first majority-female state legislature.
The bill passed by a 27-13 margin, with unanimous Republican disapproval and all but one Democrat voting in favor. Republican lawmakers expressed concern about the clause lifting the requirement to inquire about a woman's age and marital status.
"Without the provision requiring a physician to ask the age of a patient, we may be missing clear red flags of abuse and trafficking," Assemblywoman Jill Tolles (R) said, according to the Reno Gazette Journal.
The bill will now head to the state Senate, which has already passed similar legislation. Gov. Steve Sisolak (D), who was elected in November, supports abortion rights.
The legislative action in Carson City comes as a slate of conservative states implement a range of abortion restrictions, with many passing or considering abortion bans once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy.
Alabama last week passed the most stringent abortion restriction, which bans the procedure in virtually all instances unless a mother's life is at risk.
Supporters of the more restrictive bills have said they hope to spark a court battle that could lead to the Supreme Court reconsidering the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, citing a new conservative balance on the high court after the confirmation of two of President Trump's nominees.