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Hundreds protest in support of abortion rights outside Las Vegas Federal Courthouse

Advocates gathered at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Las Vegas to voice their concern about overturning Roe v. Wade.
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 11:07 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Chants of ‘stand up fight back’ and ‘our body our choice’ echoed outside the Federal Courthouse in downtown Las Vegas Tuesday night.

“Thinking that my mom had rights that now I [may] not have,” Las Vegas resident Rachael Jones said. “I think we need to stand up and move forward instead of backwards.”

The hundreds of women and supporters of the right to choose are protesting a leaked draft opinion that suggests the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to overturn the landmark 1972 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide.

“I feel like our body our choice, so women should be making that decision,” Las Vegas resident Crys Brown said.

In Nevada, there are abortion protections etched into law. In 1990, Nevada voters passed a referendum that guaranteed the right to abortion until 24 weeks of pregnancy.

“It’s somewhat relieving that luckily I’m in a spot where I don’t have to worry too much about it, but it’s scary to think of all the woman that don’t have that option and how it could effect women’s mortality rate,” Jones said.

Gubernatorial candidates are weighing in too. Gov. Steve Sisolak defends the right to choose. He said in a statement, “In Nevada, we’ve made sure the government stays out of the personal decision of if, when, and how to start a family - just as it should be. As long as I am governor, Nevada will continue to champion reproductive freedom.”

Republican candidate and North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee takes an opposite stance.

“If I’m elected Governor, I will be the most pro-life Governor this state has ever had. I will support any effort to outlaw abortion in Nevada with the exceptions of rape, incest and the life of the mother,” Lee said in a video posted to social media.

Republican candidate Sheriff Joe Lombardo said he’s catholic and pro-life but, “”what Nevada voters need to keep in mind is, regardless of what the U.S. Supreme Court does or doesn’t do, abortion policy is addressed in our state constitution.”

What would it take for the abortion protections to be overturned in Nevada? It would require a statewide referendum.

To get on the ballot it would take a majority votes by the state legislature, which currently is controlled by democrats. The other way to get it on the ballot would require at least 112,000 signatures collected by Nevada voters.

There was further abortion protection passed in 2019 that made it illegal to punish abortion criminally in Nevada. That was largely done in case Roe v. Wade was overturned.