Ab405- Parental Notification for a minor seeking abortion- died 12:00 am, June 2, 2015 in the Nevada Legislature, Carson City, NV.
Ab405 was ill-fated from day one, or so we were told. It was predestined to never receive a fair hearing or a vote. It was supposed to die in committee during the first month of the legislative session. It was never supposed to make it through one chamber, let alone to the other chamber. It was to be downgraded to a "study" and forgotten about altogether.
But it didn't die. It keep moving. And we didn't forget about it. We were bound and determined to not let our representatives in Carson City forget about it either.
Apparently no one has time for important issues like parental rights and protecting children from predators, profiteers and dare I say it, their own bad decisions. Or even if there is time, at least we aren't supposed to care.
But people did care. And they still do.
But truth be told, we all know that Governor Sandoval had Ab405's number from the very beginning. Rumor had it that he made clear to legislators that no controversial bills were to make their way to his desk. Not one. And if there's one single lesson to be learned from the 2015 legislative session, it's that Sandoval gets what Sandoval wants. Even if that means Republicans backstabbing their constituents by voting for a tax increase that nearly all opposed as a ballot measure last year.
The largest tax increase in Nevada history.
But we're here to remember Ab405. It's incredible life and it's tragic death.
We were told on numerous ocassions that Ab405 was in fact dead. It wasn't, obviously, but legislators and the media hoped we would hear the sad news, mourn for a moment, forget about it and move along. I mean, how many times did we read the headline "Parental Notification Bill Not Expected to Pass"? But as I'm sure those same legislators soon came to discover, attempts to silence us only made us stronger and more determined.
Assemblyman Ira Hansen is to be praised and commended for taking on our cause as his own. He is responsible, along with a few other Assembly members, for seeing this bill through. (Thank you Ira!!) He took it into his own committee while it was in the Assembly, giving it that first hearing it was never supposed to have. It sailed through the vote there and quickly moved to the floor of the Assembly. Once on the floor, it passed, 24-17, without any problem.
And then it fell into the hands of Senator Ben Kieckhefer. Oh that poor, poor bill. It had no idea what was coming. What a disappointment it must have been, having just flown through the Assembly, thinking everything was finally right in the world. Ab405 must have been so optimistic at that point, seeing as it was put in the hands of a Republican and in a committee with a Republican majority, and on the road to a Senate with a Republican majority. After all, the GOP is supposed to be conservative. Right? Right?? But Ab405, and all of it's supporters, quickly learned that such assumptions can not be trusted. Something I read recently about politicians and taxes (but that I think we can substitute abortion in for taxes) comes to mind:
you can trust a Democrat to do what he says on taxes [and abortion] and you can trust a Republican to stab you in the back
Ab405 must have felt so betrayed. I know many of us did.
Senator Kieckhefer resolved to kill the bill once and for all by not allowing it a vote in the Finance Committee. But wouldntcha know it? After just a little bit of persuasion, in the form of thousands upon thousands of phone calls, emails, letters, an old fashioned thing we call a post card campaign, and a visit from several dozen parents, Kieckhefer changed his tune. Suddenly he wasn't concerned about the phantom fiscal note that depending on the day or the weather, Planned Parenthood claimed to be $2 million, or was it $5 million? Numbers are hard. I get it. 2 and 5 do look a lot alike... I'm not sure if they ever did figure that out.
But all of a sudden he stated that "it did not have a fiscal impact."
And poof, just like that, Ab405 was once again resurrected.
Senator Kieckhefer rereferred the bill to the Health and Human Services Committee, where it probably should have been referred to to begin with. Committee Chair, Senator Joe Hardy, graciously scheduled a hearing for it, on a holiday of all days: Monday, May 25, Memorial Day. But that didn't stop supporters. Nothing was going to stop them. They flew up to Carson City from Las Vegas and some attended down south at the Grant Sawyer Building. The rooms were packed. So much so that 2 overflow rooms were filled to the brim at the Legislative Building in Carson. To say that there was ample support for the measure would be a severe understatement.
The hearing was too short. So short that Chairman Hardy had to keep cutting the time he was allotting for testimony. I get it, he wanted to be sure plenty of people had the change to speak, but seriously, with THAT much support, he should have made the time. This was obviously important. But apparently only to the constituents because a majority of the HHS Committee didn't even attend their own meeting, to include, you guessed it! Senator Ben Kieckhefer. That guy must be a hide and seek champion!
The hearing wrapped up in the early evening and we were all told later that the measure would be voted on when Senator Hardy was assured he had the votes in the Senate for it to pass.
And immediately we all knew what that meant: there would be no vote without severe pressure. He was working with others to protect the Senators who didn't want to go on record as to whether they stand for parents and children or predators and profiteers, big abortion. And who can blame them!? If I were a pro-abortion "Republican" I wouldn't want my constituents to know! That's bad for business. Keep it a secret.
No vote means no record means no accountability.
For the next several days, supporters of Ab405 continued to call and email and tweet and send letters. Some delivered letters by hand. We weren't going to give up without a fight, something we were well accustomed to at this point. We also contacted the governor several times to ask that he use his position to get this measure a vote.
And that was all we were asking for: A VOTE. It's a simple request isn't it? Our message was: you asked for our vote during elections now we're asking for you to vote. (And if you could vote yes, that'd be awesome too, especially since you claim to be a Republican).
But alas, nothing came of our requests to the governor. And who can be surprised, considering his relationship with one of the top Planned Parenthood lobbyists in Nevada. I still haven't received an answer to my question, by the way.
In the end, it was a long and arduous battle. Ab405 fought hard and we fought hard along side of it, but it was out-schemed from the beginning. We had the numbers, we had the support, we had common sense, constitutionality, ration and popular opinion on our side. But when it all came down to it, none of that mattered. What mattered was politics, positions, records and keeping controversy at bay.
The Review Journal published an article after the end of session recounting the winners and losers of the 2015 legislative session. As a result of the passing of Ab405, there are several winners and losers the article failed to mention. I'd like to add them here.
Predators and sex traffickers who use secret abortions to cover up their crimes.
Big abortion who prey on young, scared pregnant teenagers who in a moment of crisis will make quick, rash decisions to try and "correct" their mistake or cover it up. Abortionists are happy to cash in on such an opportunity.
Parents who don't have the state on their side, in support of their efforts to parent their child the best they can by knowing all the information.
Children who are victims of pedophiles, predators and sex traffickers. Children who are victims of the abortion industry. Children who have a hard time dealing with the difficulties that come with being post-abortive, with always having to carry that pain.
The voters, who when they cast their vote for a Republican, assumed they were voting for a conservative who held their same values, who cared about the rights of parents and for children. Some of whom out-rightly claim to be pro-life and yet were silent when pro-life legislation made it's way to them.
And so, when the clock struck midnight on that late Monday evening, it was all over. Ab405 died quietly in the night. No vote was ever cast in the Senate. It wasn't defeated, it was simply left to die. And at the hands of those who claim to be on the side of parents and life. But if I had to come to a conclusion based on what happened to Ab405 over the course of 120 days in the Nevada Legislature, it would be that too many legislators are, in fact, not on the side of parents and children and life. And if that is the case, then who's side are they on?
Ab405, you will not be forgotten. You will be remembered. We will carry your memory with us wherever we go, but particularly into the next campaign season as we decide who's campaign to contribute to and we will carry your memory into the voting booth as we cast our ballots.