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Lombardo donates thousands of dollars, Metro helicopter ride to anti-abortion groups

Jannelle Calderon
Jannelle Calderon
Election 2022Elections
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While Republican gubernatorial nominee Joe Lombardo has shied away from using abortion as a campaigning message, his campaign expense reports show he has been quietly supporting anti-abortion groups.

In the past, Lombardo did not respond to a Nevada Independent questionnaire on abortion sent to major candidates in late May and hasn’t publicly outlined what his beliefs are or what his plan would be, instead using a blanket statement that abortion in Nevada is already protected.

Earlier this year, Lombardo’s campaign sponsored an event for Nevada Right To Life, an anti-abortion group, and made a $1,500 payment to the group for special event fees.

Lombardo also paid more than $1,400 to Women’s Resource Medical Centers Of Southern Nevada (WRMCSN) related to special events. Lombardo’s campaign also paid another crisis pregnancy center — Living Grace Homes – about $300 for event fees, according to his second quarter report. 

The name and mission of the centers can be misleading. According to findings by the American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, “crisis pregnancy centers” are oftentimes run by organizations that seek to intercept women who might be considering terminating their pregnancy and persuade them that adoption or parenting is a better option.

WRMCSN is a faith-based nonprofit that aims to end the demand for abortions and offers free services, including pregnancy tests, prenatal care and counseling, “to women and couples who are making decisions about unintended pregnancies.” While the organization’s website shows abortion as an option along with adoption and parenting, it “does not recommend, provide, or refer for abortion.” WRMCSN also does not recommend, provide or refer patients to use contraceptives.

Similarly, Living Grace Homes’ website says it aims to “[help] young mothers grow into healthy, empowered, and productive women,” especially women between 14 to 24 years old.

Living Grace Homes is affiliated with Heartbeat International, a network of pro-life pregnancy resource centers in the United States, which openly “celebrates” the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

In February 2022, a helicopter ride-along on a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department aircraft was donated to crisis pregnancy center WRMCSN as a silent auction item, which went to a bidder who donated $1,000. According to a Metro spokesperson, all requests and donations of aerial ride-alongs are approved through the sheriff's office and last up to an hour and a half. The spokesperson was unable to say how often ride-alongs are donated. 

During the ride-along, the flight’s tasks are carried out the same as they would be without a participant, the spokesperson told The Nevada Independent, whether it is answering a call to a barricade situation or just patrolling, similar to a car unit ride-along. Metro’s “air support/search and rescue” budget is about $9 million, out of a budget of more than $715 million.

In Metro’s “We Care” pamphlet with local community resources, WRMCSN (not by name but as “Crisis Pregnancy Center” with a matching phone number) and Living Grace Homes are listed, but abortion providers or pro-choice groups were not. 

Lombardo’s campaign did not respond to The Nevada Independent’s request for comment on the matter. 

— Jannelle Calderon 

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