Cortez Masto says abortion rights about freedom for women
Nevada’s senior senator, up for re-election in November, says her seat could be key to deciding on future abortion rules for the country.
Updated July 1, 2022 - 9:06 pm
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto was in Las Vegas on Friday with health care providers to support abortion rights after the Supreme Court effectively overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision last week.
Cortez Masto framed the fight over abortion rights not as a political one, but as the freedom for women to do what they want with their bodies.
“Not just a majority of Nevadans, but a majority of Americans support the right of a woman to choose to access health care and recognizes her equal rights,” Cortez Masto said. “This decision was to be very personal, with her family and her doctors, and not government officials weighing in.
“I’m sorry, I don’t think Ted Cruz should tell us what we should be doing,” she said.
Abortion remains legal and accessible in Nevada because voters passed a statewide referendum to protect the right to access abortions in state law in 1990.
But Cortez Masto framed her re-election bid against Republican Adam Laxalt as what could decide whether abortion is banned on a federal level.
Laxalt, the former state attorney general, celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and previously said he would support additional abortion restrictions in Nevada.
“There is no question in my mind that my opponent, Adam Laxalt, would support a federal abortion ban that eliminates access to reproductive care nationwide,” Cortez Masto said. “He is out of line with a majority of Nevadans in this state.”
The Laxalt campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Cortez Masto said that Republicans in the Senate are already planning to introduce a bill to ban abortion nationwide and that her seat could be the deciding vote on whether legislation like that passes. The Senate is divided 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris able to cast tiebreaking votes.
For Cortez Masto, the abortion issue is rooted in freedom, she said.
“I shouldn’t be imposing my beliefs, my experiences, on anyone,” Cortez Masto said. “That’s not what freedom is about.”
Contact Nick Robertson at NRobertson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @NickRobertsonSU on Twitter.