March for Reproductive Rights. Photo from Wikimedia Commons by Louise Palanker from October 1, 2021.

By Brett Wilkins / Common Dreams

An amendment to enshrine abortion rights in Nevada’s constitution moved one step closer to appearing on this November’s ballot Monday as reproductive rights defenders submitted nearly twice the number of required signatures to state election officials.

Nevadans for Reproductive Freedom, the coalition spearheading the ballot measure, said it submitted more than 200,000 signatures from every county in the state—where abortion is legal up to 24 weeks of pregnancy—supporting the Nevada Right to Reproductive Freedom Amendment. Proposed 2024 Nevada ballot questions need 102,362 verified signatures to qualify; campaigners generally aim to collect double the required number of signatures, as many are disqualified for various reasons.

“This is a true testament to the volunteers, supporters, and coalition partners who recognize the importance of codifying abortion rights into our state constitution,” Nevadans for Reproductive Freedom said on social media. “We’re officially one step closer.”

“The number of signatures gathered in just over three months shows how deeply Nevadans believe in abortion rights and its importance to this moment in our nation’s history.”

Speaking to supporters outside the Clark County Courthouse in Las Vegas on Monday, Nevadans for Reproductive Freedom President Lindsey Harmon said that “the majority of Nevadans agree that the government should stay out of their personal and private decisions… about our bodies, our lives, and our futures.”

“The number of signatures gathered in just over three months shows how deeply Nevadans believe in abortion rights and its importance to this moment in our nation’s history,” Harmon added.

Nevada constitutional amendments must be approved by voters twice. If the proposed abortion rights amendment qualifies for the ballot and is approved by voters this November, it will appear again on the 2026 statewide ballot.

Last November, Carson City District Court Judge James Russell sided with right-wing advocacy groups who argued that the proposed amendment violates Nevada law by covering more than one subject. After Nevadans for Reproductive Freedom subsequently narrowed the proposal’s focus, Russell ruled the coalition could proceed with signature gathering. In April, the Nevada Supreme Court affirmed the proposed ballot measure’s original language.

Four states—Florida, Kansas, Maryland, and New York—have abortion rights measures on November’s ballot, while Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, and Nevada have proposed such initiatives.

Since the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court voided half a century of federal abortion rights nearly two years ago in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, seven states have let voters weigh in on the issue. People in all seven states—including conservative Kansas, Kentucky, and Montana—have voted to either protect and expand abortion rights or defeat measures seeking to restrict access to the procedure.

Meanwhile, 14 states have enacted total abortion bans, while 27 have legislated restrictions on the procedure based on duration of pregnancy, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

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Brett Wilkins

Brett Wilkins is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

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