LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – On Tuesday, a judge in Clark County ruled that Nevada Medicaid must cover abortions. While advocates of reproductive freedom are celebrating the victory, those against abortion are questioning the ruling, saying public money shouldn’t be used to fund the procedures.

The ACLU of Nevada who represents the group in the case that helps those seeking abortions is calling it a “significant victory”, while Nevada Right to Life says the ruling is disappointing but does not come as a surprise.

“From our vantage point, it is the most significant ruling maybe nationally with respect to Medicaid coverage,” Athar Haseebullah, Executive director of the ACLU of Nevada told FOX5 after a Clark County judge granted the ACLU’s petition directing the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services to remove the abortion coverage ban from the state’s Medicaid program. The ACLU represents Silver State Hope Fund, a fund set up set up to help Nevadans and those coming from other states where abortion is no longer allowed with abortion care.

Following the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last year, Nevadans overwhelmingly adopted an Equal Rights Amendment to the state constitution, ensuring equality under the law regardless of race, sex, gender, sexual orientation.

“The equal rights amendment specifically precludes sex based discrimination of a medical service,” Haseebullah explained. The ACLU challenged Medicaid coverage ban of abortions under Nevada’s new equal rights amendment. The ACLU argues since Medicaid covers things like vasectomies, they must also cover abortions.

“This is essentially what we warned a lot of people about,” contended Krystal Minera-Alvis, Communication Director for Nevada Right to Life. Nevada Right to Life, a pro-life advocacy organization, says this is why they advocated against the Equal Rights Amendment, the court’s ruling now clearing the way for taxpayer money to pay for elective procedures.

“Abortions for cases of rape, incest, and if a mother’s life is at risk, they have already been covered… They are coming in because they want abortion on demand and free abortions. If you want to make that choice, it shouldn’t have to fall on someone else to pay that,” Krystal Minera-Alvis asserted.

The ACLU say they expect the state to appeals the ruling. They expect the matter to go to the Nevada Supreme Court.

FOX5 reached out to Nevada Medicaid about the court’s ruling. They say they are unable to comment on pending legal matters.


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