Former GOP Sen. Dean Heller ran for governor of Nevada on Monday, telling reporters he would fully support a Texas-style ban on abortion if elected.
Texas Senate Bill 8 prohibits abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, making it the country’s strictest anti-abortion law. Many women don’t even know they are six weeks pregnant, which means the law effectively bans abortions altogether.
The state deputies and incentives for private citizens to sue individuals involved in “providing assistance or persuasion” for abortion. It could be a doctor, a friend or even a driver who dropped the pregnant person off at the clinic.
Heller was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2011 and lost her seat in the 2011 election, facing simultaneous criticism from her party’s right-wing base and Democrats who said she was too conservative for the state that sided with Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Heller’s remarks Monday, the first day of his official campaign, indicated that he planned to try to win over his conservatives who suspected him, as he competed with Governor Steve Sisolak (D) for his party’s nomination the following year. Heller called himself “the only proven conservative in this race” and ordered masks and vaccines, as well as democratic-led suffrage, to fight the coronavirus.
However, the location of her abortion could be a problem in the general election. As The Nevada Independent notes, public opinion consistently shows that voters in the state support the right to abortion.
Heller’s comments differ significantly from the one-time abortion position. In 2006, she said: “I’m a Mormon and I go to school every Sunday, but I get back to a woman the right to choose abortion. It’s a conservative position.”
But as a senator from 2011 to 2011, she consistently voted against the right to abortion.
In 2017, Heller fired the Conservatives for swearing to “protect planned fatherhood” and said he had “no problem with federal funding for planned fatherhood.” Her office later clarified in her remarks that the senator preferred planned paternity services to avoid abortion.
The right to abortion is becoming a major issue in the upcoming election cycle, as other states are beginning to prepare for the potential catastrophe of Rowe v. Wade and are considering adopting the Texas Copicat Bill.