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Nevada judge strikes down state limits on taxpayer-funded abortions

by | Mar 25, 2024

By Nancy Flanders

A Nevada judge on Tuesday blocked the state from putting limits on how state Medicaid funding is spent on abortions, stating that restrictions would be a violation of equal rights protections.

Clark County District Judge Erika Ballou said [https://apnews.com/article/nevada-abortions-medicaid-coverage-78a56fa749f42b713b292147edcdcb61]she will issue a written order directing the state Department of Health and Human Services to grant Medicaid coverage for all abortions.

Nevada state Medicaid is currently only allowed to be used to pay for abortions when a pregnancy is considered ‘life-threatening’ to the mother or if the woman is pregnant from rape or incest.

Allowing Medicaid to be used to pay for abortions has been shown to increase the abortion rate.

A survey published by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute in 2017 revealed that women who have taxpayer-funded abortions tend to have more abortions. In addition, a report published that same year by the pro-abortion Reproductive Health Investors Alliance showed the percentage of abortions paid for by taxpayers in states that do not cover abortions via Medicaid was just 1.5%.

However, in states that use Medicaid to cover abortions, the number was 52.2%.

This means that Ballou’s ruling is likely to lead to more abortions in Nevada — funded by taxpayers.

Ballou’s ruling is in regard to a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Nevada. In 2022, Nevada voters approved an Equal Rights Amendment to the State’s Constitution, which guarantees equality under the law regardless of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, ancestry or national origin.

The ACLU of Nevada later filed a lawsuit arguing that Nevada’s Medicaid abortion coverage rules violated the amendment’s prohibition against sex-based discrimination. Ballou ruled in favor of the ACLU but said she expects her decision to be appealed.

“If you have a right to an abortion, but you don’t have the financial means to get one when you need one, especially when it’s necessary for your medical health, then it’s almost as if you don’t have the right at all,” Christopher Peterson, one of the ACLU lawyers on the case, said in an interview. “We’re making sure that the right of abortion in the state of Nevada is not just letters on a page.”

The killing of a preborn human being is not a right, but rather a violent act that violates the right to life of an estimated one million people a year. Even if the state declares abortion to be a right, that doesn’t make it true, and it doesn’t mean the state (the taxpayers) must cover the cost of women’s abortions.

For example, the UN declared that everyone has a right to clean drinking water, but the government isn’t paying everyone’s water bills. And this same logic could be broadly applied to things such as the Constitutional right to bear arms, which would then mean that if a person didn’t have the financial means to obtain a firearm, taxpayers would need to fund that.

Medicaid is meant to help low-income families and qualifying pregnant women pay for their health care. Nevada’s Medicaid program has more than 880,000 participants, according to The Nevada Independent.

Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and reposted with permission.

Categories: Abortion Funding