GOP nominee for Nevada governor says he would oppose national abortion limits if passed by Congress

GOP nominee for Nevada governor says he would oppose national abortion limits if passed by Congress

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The GOP nominee for governor of Nevada said Thursday he would fight a nationwide abortion ban if Congress passes one.

“It’s the vote of the people in the state of Nevada, and I’m going to support that,” Joe Lombardo, who is generally anti-abortion, told reporters while campaigning in the state with Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin. “This is an issue that doesn’t need to be in politics.”

Nevada voters codified abortion rights for up to 24 weeks into law in a 1990 referendum. Any order to further restrict abortion would have to come from the vote of the people, not the state legislature, unlike in many other states.

Earlier this week, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham proposed a near-total ban on abortion after 15 weeks. The legislation undermined the arguments of many GOP candidates this summer that the future of abortion rights in the US would be decided by individual states.

Lombardo, who is the sheriff of Clark County, has long maintained that as governor he would respect the 1990 vote, even though he is Catholic and holds anti-abortion views.


Still, a national abortion ban would replace Nevada’s law, and it’s unclear how Lombardo could fight that.

Lombardo’s announcement came in stark contrast to some Republicans who shied away from or supported Graham’s proposal. Republican April Becker, a candidate for Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District, opposes abortion except in cases of rape and incest. But she told NBC News this week that she would vote against a national abortion ban, calling it unconstitutional for Congress to regulate abortion.

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Also on Thursday, the Republican candidate for governor of New Mexico proposed a referendum that could impose further limitations on access to abortion.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn Roe v. Wade, Nevada Governor Sisolak signed an executive order saying Nevada will not help other states that try to prosecute residents who travel to Nevada for abortions. It also ensures that medical boards and commissions that oversee sick leave do not discipline or disqualify doctors who perform abortions.

While he backed away from when he said he would overturn the executive order, Lombardo maintained that he would “look at it from the point of view of being a pro-life governor.”

After Thursday’s rally, Sisolak’s spokeswoman Natalie Gould released a statement saying “Joe Lombardo is lying.”

Lombardo and Youngkin spent the day holding events in Las Vegas and Reno, where the governor of Virginia conjured up his own high-profile victory a year ago.


Lombardo lashed out at Democratic incumbent Sisolak over education, crime, and for closing non-essential businesses at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. He spoke of further diversifying Nevada’s economy, more school decision-making power for parents, and expanding charter schools.

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“This was a move,” Youngkin said of his victory later. “And that movement is here now. It’s your turn.”

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