Dear Neighbors in Nevada

by Maggy Krell

Published on June 26 in the Las Vegas Sun

In Alabama, the State Attorney General has threatened to use conspiracy laws to prosecute those who help fund or arrange out of state travel for women seeking refuge from Alabama’s near total abortion ban. In Indiana, a doctor almost lost her license for providing abortion care to a 10-year-old rape victim. In Texas, a woman was sued by her abusive ex for seeking an abortion. 

In a case now pending before the Supreme Court, Idaho is arguing that its abortion ban should override the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), a federal law that requires any hospital with an emergency room to provide stabilizing treatment to any person experiencing a medical emergency. Idaho’s ban on abortion conflicts with the federal law, and particularly with doctors who want to save their patients’ lives.

This is post-Dobbs America, where the Supreme Court held that there is no constitutional right to abortion and opened the floodgates for states to revive arcane laws from the 1800s (before women could vote!) or pass newly concocted bans that have had a chilling effect on health care providers everywhere, and a life-threatening impact on women seeking care.  

Dobbs made every American less free. 

The Court majority has abrogated individual Americans’ liberty interests in favor of a Dixiecratic return to State Sovereignty to regulate the bodies and personal decisions of women.  If faced with another Trump presidency, we would be forced to fight executive action by flipping the perverted states’ rights position in order to protect as many women as we can in the states where we can. 

If Donald Trump is elected he can threaten abortion access by enforcing old laws and taking new executive actions, even without Congress.

For example, Trump can enforce the Comstock Act, a 151-year-old law that criminalizes sending lewd material, and includes drugs or tools designed for abortion. That’s not hyperbole: Project 2025’s plan proposes the revival of an 1873 law, named for a postal inspector and anti-vice activist, to mandate how to regulate modern medicine. While there are strong legal arguments to challenge this law, just the threat of federal enforcement would have the effect of preventing patients from seeking care and providers from providing it.  The prospect of being arrested, losing the legal ability to practice medicine, and a host of other collateral consequences, pose too great a risk. 

Despite the Supreme Court’s procedural ruling on Mifepristone, Trump can force the FDA to create new restrictions, use the rule making powers to create new barriers, and stifle Medicaid funding for our healthcare systems that don’t obey him.  

Nevada is not only a pivotal swing state in the November election, it is one of a handful of states whose voters will consider enshrining the right to abortion into the state constitution.  State constitutional amendments will be a key legal tool in the next battleground of reproductive rights litigation.  

Nevadans, have a rich history of protecting personal liberties.  You are crucial in this election. Protecting the rights of women in Nevada will advance the defense of reproductive freedom throughout the country.  My California Assembly campaign volunteers want to join your campaign volunteers – knock on doors, talk to voters, and kick some dust into the gears of the Trump machine.  I hope you will welcome us.

 Maggy Krell served as Chief Legal Counsel for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California during Donald Trump’s presidency.