On October 21, 2009, “Personhood Nevada” filed a petition to place an initiative on the ballot in 2010 that seeks to expand the meaning of the term “person” throughout the Nevada Constitution and Nevada laws. The initiative attempts to re-define the term “person” to include a fertilized egg and all subsequent stages of prenatal development. According to the initiative’s proponents, the newly defined “persons” would have full constitutional rights under the Nevada Constitution.
The initiative seeks to ban all abortions and commonly used forms of birth control. It could also interfere with doctors’ ability to treat life-threatening pregnancies, miscarriages, and infertility, as well as ban some stem cell research and other life-saving therapies and cures. In addition, it could reach far beyond health care and it fails to explain to voters its intent and impact on Nevada law.
On November 12, 2009, represented by the ACLU, THE ACLU OF NEVADA, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, an individual woman, a pharmacist and an obstetrician-gynecologist asked the court to block the petition.