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Nevada U.S. Senate candidates differ on federal abortion funding

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(The Center Square) – Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, abortion has been a key issue on state ballots.

In Nevada’s U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen and Republican challenger Sam Brown have some differing stances on federal support for abortion.

Rosen supports protections for abortion enshrined in federal law. After the Supreme Court unanimously voted to protect access to the abortion pill, mifepristone, on June 13, Rosen stated in a news release:

“While today’s decision is good news for reproductive freedoms, the Supreme Court has not fully closed the door on future attempts to further restrict abortion access across our nation. We know the anti-choice extremists who pushed to overturn Roe v. Wade won’t stop until they succeed in banning women’s access to abortion care. We cannot allow that to happen, which is why it is more critical than ever to restore Roe and protect reproductive rights in federal law.”

Republican challenger Sam Brown said abortion rights and restrictions should be up to the states, as the Supreme Court decided. His campaign website states that he “will not support a national abortion ban.” Nevada voted to protect the right to abortion in a 1990 referendum. Brown has stated that he “will not vote to overturn the vote of Nevadans.”

Brown has drawn on his wife’s story of her own abortion to set himself apart from fellow Republicans in other states, and his support for maintaining Nevada’s law allowing abortions up to 24 weeks makes him a moderate among many of his peers.

“Amy and I have spoken extensively about this topic and believe, first and foremost, that mothers who are facing an unplanned pregnancy deserve the utmost compassion and understanding,” the Brown campaign told The Center Square. “I am pro-life, with exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother. Like President Trump, I believe the issue is now correctly left at the state level and applaud his leadership.”

Trump appointed three conservative Supreme Court justices during his term, all of whom voted to overturn Roe v. Wade in 2022.

“I will oppose any bill that pushes for federal funding of abortion, late term abortions, or abortion without parental notification,” Brown wrote on his campaign website. “And I will support federal judges who understand the importance of protecting life.”

From 2019 to 2021, Planned Parenthood affiliates received $148 million in federal grants. Planned Parenthood offers a variety of sexual health services, including abortions, STD checks, and cancer screenings. Federal law prohibits federal funds from directly funding abortions except in cases of rape or incest or the mother’s life is in danger. That prohibition does not extend to organizations that offer a range of services that include abortions.

During the Trump presidency, Republicans tried to cut funding to Planned Parenthood over the abortions it provides during reproductive care.

“Thousands of Nevada women rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for preventive services like birth control and cancer screenings, and Jacky opposes partisan efforts to defund the organization,” Rosen wrote on her campaign website.

Rosen’s campaign did not respond to The Center Square’s request for comment.

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