In a rare display of bipartisanship, Nevada governor, Republican Mark Amodei, approved a bill offering protections for abortion. This marks a significant move in a traditionally conservative state that has notoriously been unsympathetic to abortion-related issues.
The bill, which was passed by the state assembly earlier this month, will allow women to seek abortions if their health is at risk or in cases where the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
Governor Amodei, who initially opposed the bill, credited the work of lawmakers, healthcare professionals, and women’s rights groups in making him change his stance. “This was not an easy decision for me, but after reviewing all the evidence presented, I believe it is the right thing to do,” Amodei said in a statement.
The move has received a mixed response from both sides of the political divide. Democrats and women’s rights activists have praised the governor for his decision while some conservative groups have called it a betrayal. Pro-life activists are already gearing up to challenge the new policy in court.
Despite the controversy, the bill marks a significant victory for pro-choice advocates in the state and around the country. Nevada’s move comes amid a flurry of recent attempts by Republican-controlled states to impose stricter limits on abortions, including the controversial “heartbeat” bill enforced in six US states.
The bill will come into effect from July 1, 2022, but it looks set to be a hot topic of debate in the lead up to the mid-term elections next year. Regardless of the outcome, Amodei’s decision marks a significant shift in the political landscape of a state that has long been considered a stronghold of conservatism.