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October 18, 2018 / Press Releases

NARAL Calls On Nevada Senate Debate Moderators to #AskAboutAbortion


Despite Being a Key Issue for Voters, Reproductive Freedom Has Been Missing From the Conversation

Despite Being a Key Issue for Voters, Reproductive Freedom Has Been Missing From the Conversation

For Immediate Release: October 18, 2018
Contact: media@prochoiceamerica.org

With threats to Roe v. Wade and in the lead up to the Senate debate in Nevada this Friday, NARAL Pro-Choice America is calling on Denise Valdez, Steve Sebelius, and Tsi-Tsi-Ki Felix — the moderators of Friday’s U.S. Senate debate — to ask the candidates about their views on reproductive healthcare and abortion. NARAL sent a letter to the moderators defining the stark contrast in the race between Jacky Rosen and Dean Heller when it comes to their views on reproductive freedom.

“Abortion is not a “niche” issue. Asking about abortion means demanding that the candidates tell us what they think about gender equality and a woman’s right to determine what happens to her own body, allowing voters to compare the two agendas of the senatorial candidates. It means moving a complex discussion past the simple “pro-choice” and “pro-life” labels so they can talk about their ideas for supporting women and families. It means determining whether a candidate thinks a woman deserves full access to the values of freedom, equality, and opportunity that Nevadans believe in, or if she should be punished for ideological reasons.
– Nicole Brener-Schmitz in her letter to the moderators of Friday’s debate

See the full letter below:

October 17, 2018

Denise Valdez

KLAS-TV 8

3228 Channel 8 Dr

Las Vegas, NV 89109

 

Steve Sebelius

KLAS-TV 8

3228 Channel 8 Dr

Las Vegas, NV 89109

 

Tsi-Tsi-Ki Felix

Univision

101 Constitution Ave NW

Washington, DC 20001-2133

 

Dear Denise, Steve, and Tsi-Tsi-Ki

Debates are a critical opportunity to hold candidates accountable on issues that directly impact the lives of all Nevadans. Few things are as important to the wellbeing of citizens across Nevada than the ability to decide if, when, and how to raise their family. Access to basic reproductive healthcare, including birth control and abortion care, has become one of the most salient points of contrast between candidates running up and down the ballot in Nevada. We write you today to bring this important conversation into the public sphere.

 

For that reason, we request that you ask the candidates about how they plan to address the crisis of abortion access in Nevada. This crisis leaves women without full control over their own bodies and their own lives. It threatens our health and our economic security.

 

Abortion is not a “niche” issue. Asking about abortion means demanding that the candidates tell us what they think about gender equality and a woman’s right to determine what happens to her own body, allowing voters to compare the two agendas of the senate candidates. It means moving a complex discussion past the simple “pro-choice” and “pro-life” labels so they can talk about their ideas for supporting women and families. It means determining whether a candidate thinks a woman deserves full access to the values of freedom, equality, and opportunity that Nevadans believe in, or if she should be punished for ideological reasons.

 

In past debates, moderators have typically posed questions on abortion that skirt the lived reality of countless women and families in Nevada. We hope that your questions capture the true needs of women.

 

Below are questions we propose you ask:

 

  1. The confirmation of judges at the federal level has captured the attention of the nation. Many state level laws that have either expanded or reduced access to reproductive healthcare are being challenged in court, where federal judges determine the constitutionality of these laws. Would you vote to confirm a judge with a record that’s hostile to reproductive healthcare to a lifetime appointment?

 

  1. There is less and less access to abortion care in this country. Restrictions on abortion care enacted at the state level have rapidly shut down abortion clinics. If elected to the U.S. Senate, would you sign on to the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would establish federal protections against measures that have resulted in clinic closures across the country?

 

  1. Among all of the barriers to accessing abortion care for American women, financial burdens rank highest. Many policies prevent low-income women from using public health insurance to access this medical service, and clinic closure laws have been so detrimental that it now requires considerable financial means to take time off work, find childcare and travel long distances to access abortion care. As a senator, how would you ensure that the constitutional right to abortion is guaranteed to all families in Nevada, regardless of their financial situation? Specifically, would you co-sponsor the EACH Woman act which allows women to access abortion no matter her financial situation or insurance coverage status?

 

Few issues are more personal and consequential than the issue of being able to choose whether, when, and with whom to start or grow a family. This issue is too important to leave unaddressed on Friday. We hope you’ll allow the candidates to talk about their differing plans to defend and expand our constitutionally protected right to access abortion.

 

Sincerely,

 

Nicole Brener-Schmitz

NARAL Pro-Choice America Political Director

 

Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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