GOP candidate for Nevada government. says he will fight abortion ban in the United States

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The GOP nominee for Nevada governor said Thursday he would fight a nationwide ban on abortion if Congress passes one.

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

Nevada voters codified the right to abortion for up to 24 weeks into law in a 1990 referendum. Any ordinance to further restrict abortion would have to come from a vote of the people, not the state legislature, unlike 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 United States would be decided by individual states.

Lombardo, who is Clark County sheriff, has long maintained that as governor he would respect the 1990 vote despite being Catholic and holding anti-abortion views.

Still, a nationwide abortion ban would supersede Nevada law, and it’s unclear how Lombardo could fight one.

Lombardo’s announcement contrasts with some Republicans who have shied away from or supported Graham’s proposal. Republican April Becker, candidate in 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 nationwide abortion ban, calling Congress’s regulation of abortion unconstitutional.

Also on Thursday, New Mexico’s Republican gubernatorial candidate proposed a referendum that could impose new restrictions on access to abortion.

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

Although he took a step back from when he announced he would rescind the executive order, Lombardo said he would “look at this from the perspective of a pro-life governor.”

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

Lombardo and Youngkin spent the day hosting events in Las Vegas and Reno, where the Virginia governor spoke about his own high-profile victory a year ago.

Lombardo attacked Democratic incumbent Sisolak on education, crime and for shutting down non-essential businesses at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. He talked about further diversifying Nevada’s economy, giving parents more power in school decision-making, and expanding charter schools.

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

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Stern is a member of the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places reporters in local newsrooms to report on underreported issues. Follow Stern on Twitter @gabestern326

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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