Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
KANW is a member of the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration of public media stations that serves the Western states of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Our mission is to tell stories about the people, places and issues across the Mountain West.From land and water management to growth in the expanding West to our unique culture and heritage, we'll explore the issues that define us and the challenges we face.

Which Mountain West states could have abortion on the 2024 ballot?

This is an image of demonstrators in support of reproductive rights gathered in front of a courthouse in Reno. A demonstrator on the far right is holding a sign that reads "Abortion is healthcare."
Lucia Starbuck
KUNR Public Radio
Demonstrators gather in support of reproductive rights in front of the Bruce R. Thompson Courthouse and Federal Building in Reno, Nev., on May 3, 2022.

In 2024, abortion could be on the ballot in nearly a dozen states, including some in the Mountain West.

In Nevada, abortion rights groups are trying to put a measure on the ballot that would enshrine reproductive rights, including abortion, in the state constitution.

The effort had a setback in November when a judge ruled the proposal violates Nevada’s requirement that ballot measures address a single subject. Proponents are likely to appeal that ruling to the state Supreme Court.

In Colorado, advocates on both sides of the issue are working to put constitutional amendments on the ballot.

Anti-abortion activists proposed a measure that would make abortion a crime, and define a fertilized egg as a living human. Abortion rights groups proposed repealing the state’s ban on public funding for abortions, a law that was passed in 1984.

Prohibiting state dollars from being used to pay for abortions is an outdated barrier, said Jack Teter, regional director of government affairs for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.

“That prevents public servants like firefighters and school teachers and working families that have state-sponsored health insurance plans from using their insurance if they need to access abortion care,” Teter said.

Elsewhere in the Mountain West, abortion is legal in Wyoming, where a ban has temporarily been blocked in court, and New Mexico.

Meanwhile, Idaho has a near-total ban on abortion, and in Utah, it’s banned after 18 weeks of pregnancy.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, KUNC in Colorado and KANW in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Kaleb is an award-winning journalist and KUNR’s Mountain West News Bureau reporter. His reporting covers issues related to the environment, wildlife and water in Nevada and the region.