(Sigal Chattah) – In a recent debate with Tisha Black, my GOP primary opponent in the Nevada attorney general’s race, a question came up on how Nevada might be affected if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the Roe v. Wade decision on abortion.
My response was that a ballot referendum passed by Nevada voters in 1990 “made it very clear that the right to choose to terminate a pregnancy is embedded in our constitution” – and Ms. Black agreed.
The legal aspects of this question are actually more complicated than that and my answer was a little confusing. So let me clarify…
On May 3, 1973 – in response to the Roe decision – the Nevada Legislature passed a bill, which became state law (NRS 442.250), that required all abortions in the state be performed by a doctor and within 24 weeks of the pregnancy.
Since the Legislature approved the state’s abortion law, the Legislature had the power to amend it, and minor changes to the law were made by the Legislature in 1975, 1977, 1981 and 1985.
This worried the pro-abortion crowd, fearing the law could be repealed if Republicans gained control of the Legislature.
So in 1990 they gathered enough signatures to put a “referendum” on the ballot – Question 7 (I mistakenly referred to it as Question 3 in the debate) – that would constitutionally protect Nevada’s abortion LAW, not abortion itself.
It passed with over 60% of the vote. And according to Article 19, Section 1, Paragraph 3 of the Nevada Constitution, that law can no longer be changed or repealed “except by the direct vote of the people.”
So to be clear…
Question 7 didn’t embed the right to terminate a pregnancy in the Constitution. And it didn’t embed the Nevada law protecting the right to terminate a pregnancy in the Constitution. What it did was constitutionally prohibit the Legislature from changing the law.
In hindsight, I should have been clearer on that point in my answer to the debate question. I know some will think it’s a difference without a distinction, but I wanted to clarify what I meant from a legal perspective.
And to wrap this up, let me mention another legal aspect related to Roe v. Wade which the pro-abortion crowd conveniently overlooks…
The Supreme Court ruled that an “abortion performed before ‘quickening’ – the first recognizable movement of the fetus in utero, appearing usually from the 16th to the 18th week of pregnancy – was not an indictable offense.”
“Quickening” isn’t a term you usually hear when discussing abortion, and isn’t generally understood by the non-legal community. So for the layman, a “quick child” is an unborn child whose heart is beating and is moving in the womb.
And that begins WELL BEFORE 24 WEEKS.
Bottom Line: My position is the same as that of Texas State Rep. Briscoe Cain, author of the Texas heartbeat bill (HB 1500) that was passed two years ago…
“If a heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected.”
Tish the Squish Goes Squishy (Again)
During the debate, we were also both asked if we would, as Attorney General, stand up to Gov. Sisolak’s abuse of power should he be re-elected. Ray Hagar of the Nevada Appeal reported on the responses…
“Chattah has already shown to be a strong challenger to Sisolak, leading lawsuits against Sisolak’s COVID response… Black said she would try to work with Sisolak, if he was re-elected.”
“If he exercised abusive powers, as we have seen, then I would definitely put him in his place and engage in whatever procedures I can,” Chattah said.
“It is not productive for Nevada to spend four years bludgeoning somebody,” Black said.
I don’t call her “Tish the Squish” for nothing.
“In the 1960s when abortion was still illegal, I witnessed, as an OB/GYN resident, the abortion of a fetus that weighed approximately 2 pounds. It was placed in a bucket, crying and struggling to breathe, and the medical personnel pretended not to notice. Soon the crying stopped. This harrowing event forced me to think more seriously about this important issue. … I’ve never understood how killing a human being, albeit a small one in a special place, is portrayed as a precious right.” – Former Congressman Ron Paul
Sigal Chattah immigrated to Las Vegas from Israel with her family at the age of 14 and has been practicing law for nearly 20 years in Southern Nevada. Chattah prevailed in Calvary Chapel Lone Mountain v. Sisolak at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals allowing places of worship to reopen just before Christmas. She also sued and won against Governor Sisolak and Attorney General Ford in a class-action lawsuit on behalf of senior citizens reducing the age of vaccination prioritization down to 65. Chattah is a Republican running for Nevada Attorney General.