Fact Check: NO
Senator Cortez Masto has spent millions of dollars spreading lies about U.S. Republican Senate Candidate Adam Laxalt, and The Reno Gazette Journal just confirmed that this whopper from Cortez Masto is indeed completely FALSE.
RGJ fact check: Does U.S. Senate candidate Adam Laxalt support national abortion ban? By Mark Robison Reno Gazette Journal Claim: Adam Laxalt, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, supports a federal ban on abortions. Short answer: False. He says it’s “a falsehood that I would support a federal ban on abortion as a U.S. senator.” Full discussion Background In the recent Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that abortion law should be handled by the states, not the federal government. The decision has energized fundraising for Democratic candidates who were otherwise facing strong headwinds because of inflation and poor approval ratings for President Joe Biden. Abortion could be an issue that sways enough voters to make a difference in a tight election, especially one where control of the U.S. Senate might be decided. The race between Laxalt and Catherine Cortez Masto is especially close, with the most recent polling showing only a three percentage point difference between the candidates. Here’s what I found regarding the claim that Laxalt supports a federal ban on abortion. Laxalt’s position on national abortion ban Cortez Masto has said on the campaign trail that if elected, Laxalt is “an automatic vote in the Senate for a national abortion ban.” A Republican-controlled Congress could very well pursue a federal ban. The already proposed Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would ban abortions nationwide after 20 weeks and — after the Dobbs ruling — supporters say they might revise the bill to lower the ban to 15 weeks. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told USA Today that a national ban on abortion is “possible” but that there are not yet enough votes in the Senate to make it happen. In the wake of all this, multiple media outlets have asked Laxalt’s campaign for a definitive position on a federal abortion ban such as The Nevada Independent, the Las Vegas Sun and PolitiFact. His campaign has not responded. All of those requests came before he wrote an opinion column for the RGJ where he lays out a clear position. In Laxalt’s opinion column, he wrote, “it’s a falsehood that I would support a federal ban on abortion as a U.S. senator.” Conservatives — as well as some liberal constitutional scholars — have long pointed out that abortion does not appear in the U.S. Constitution. When topics are not mentioned specifically in the Constitution, it generally means that legally, it’s up to states to handle laws about them. This was the U.S. Supreme Court’s majority opinion in Dobbs. Laxalt emphasizes this point in his column: “My opponent has manufactured a litany of absurdities, falsely claiming that I am in favor of a national abortion ban. That would of course contradict what I have argued for my entire adult life and what the Supreme Court just ordered — to return the issue to the people. That means the only people who can alter Nevada’s abortion policies are the voters of Nevada.” In 1990, Nevadans voted strongly in favor of a statewide ballot initiative to cement the legal right to abortion during the first six months of pregnancy – and after that if the mother’s life or health is in danger. Conclusion: Laxalt declares himself “pro-life” and says he would support a new referendum to lower the gestational limit for abortions in Nevada from 24 weeks to 13 weeks. But as far as a national abortion ban, Laxalt has made it clear he opposes that and it’s false to claim otherwise.