ACLU and Planned Parenthood Challenge Another Initiative to Ban Abortion, Birth Control and Other Vital Health Services

LAS VEGAS – A group of registered Nevada voters today filed a lawsuit challenging a proposed ballot initiative that could ban abortion care, common forms of birth control and in-vitro fertilization. The voters are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Nevada, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and Griffin, Rowe & Nave, LLP.

“We hope that the court will do the right thing and reject the latest attempt to insert the government into personal, private medical decisions Nevada women and families make every day,” said Elisa Cafferata, president and CEO of Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood Affiliates. 

The lawsuit charges that the initiative petition, authored by the Nevada Prolife Coalition, is vague and misleading. The Coalition proposed a similar measure last year, only to withdraw it in December after a state judge re-wrote the language to make it clear to voters that the initiative, if passed, could ban a range of vital health care services.

“Not content to accept the judge’s revisions, the authors of this initiative have somehow constructed a measure that is even more baffling than the first,” said Dane Claussen, executive director of the ACLU of Nevada. “The current language is inconsistent, conflicting and meant to confuse voters into approving a law that will take away a woman’s access to basic health services.”

Like the original, the latest initiative petition proposes to outlaw many kinds of reproductive health services including abortion, commonly used forms of birth control – such as the birth control pill – and in-vitro fertilization. If allowed to go forward, the initiative could appear on the November 2012 ballot.

“The proponents of this initiative are obviously desperate to fool voters into approving a measure that could strip a woman and her family of the ability to make decisions about pregnancy, and could even prevent couples struggling to have a child from accessing fertility treatments,” said Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “We’re confident that the court will once again ensure that voters will not be misled.”

More information about the case can be found at: