Nevada’s pro-choice, pro-life nonprofits see spike in volunteer interest, donations

Since the United States Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe V. Wade a couple weeks ago, nonprofits in Las Vegas have been overwhelmed with volunteer interest.
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 8:05 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Since the United States Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe V. Wade a couple weeks ago, nonprofits in Las Vegas have been overwhelmed with volunteer interest.

“We’ve been blown away by the support from our community,” said volunteers behind the Wild West Access Fund of Nevada in an email to pro-choice supporters. “The number of volunteer applications we have received has far exceeded our capacity to screen, vet, and properly engage folks.”

FOX5 caught up with the group’s board president Macy Haverda to learn more.

“We saw our volunteer form go to well over 200 applicants over the course of just the morning of June 24,” said Haverda.

Wild West Access Fund’s pro-choice mission is to financially assist those seeking abortion care-- the procedure itself and other resulting expenses-- through a fund comprised of donations directly from the community.

Now they are asking volunteers to have patience as they comb through the applications.

“For us to go through and vet volunteers, it just takes time.,” said Haverda. “Sometimes we have volunteers that are driving someone from the airport to a hotel, and then from hotel to the appointment. We have some volunteers who have even offered things like home-cooked meals or door dashes for people.”

She also said the need for their services is stronger than ever.

“We are definitely seeing an increase in people traveling right now... Prior to the decision day, we were seeing a traveler maybe once every three weeks, maybe once a month... We’ve got at least 10 active callers in our list right now, and three or four of those are out-of-state,” said Haverda.

She added, “And we do definitely expect that to increase just because Vegas is so easy to travel to.”

Dr. Charles Browne of A-Z Women’s Center said they’re seeing an increase in patients post-Roe, and that they are from states like Utah, Idaho and Arizona.

“We’ve been good in that we haven’t turned anyone away, but as more and more calls come in, there may be a breaking point where we say we can’t see you for two weeks out or three weeks out, and that may become an issue,” said Browne.

Even though abortion is still legal in Nevada, at Women’s Resource Medical Center of Southern Nevada, the CEO said she believes the landmark reversal could mark a culture shift where more women in crisis choose not to terminate their pregnancy. The center is a pro-life nonprofit, and they urge women to consider options besides abortion.

“We are preparing for a higher capacity to receive more women into our services,” said Esther Golleher, CEO of Women’s Resource Medical Center of Southern Nevada. “Putting calls out for more volunteers... Our expansion plan started a while ago, and we’re just building our capacity to be able to take a higher volume.”

The same goes for pro-life nonprofit Nevada Right to Life.

“Since the decision came down, I’ve never been busier in my life,” said Melissa Clement, executive director, Nevada Right to Life, a pro-life nonprofit based in Reno.

She said the Supreme Court reversal made more people think about abortion and take a firm stance.

“So we’ve seen an uptick in donations, in people reaching out with questions, and volunteering,” said Clement.

The spike in interest is further emboldening her group to spread their pro-life beliefs and recruit more people to become advocates.

“We’re expanding in terms of getting the word out in as many ways as we can,” said Clement.