Las Vegas residents from both sides of the abortion debate came out this past weekend during public rallies. The gatherings were believed to be peaceful.
The demonstrations followed a US Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned Roe vs. Wade. Now, it will be up to individual states whether to restrict or ban abortions.
Nevada, as of now, is likely to continue to allow abortions. Abortion clinics also say they will be open to out-of-state residents who seek the procedure.
Nevada permits abortions up to the 24th week of pregnancy. Later abortions can take place if a mother’s health is at risk.
On Saturday, an estimated 30 pro-life individuals gathered outside of First Choice Pregnancy Services, an abortion alternative center located on East Sahara Avenue. It is near an abortion clinic.
The pro-lifers had an enthusiastic response to the Supreme Court ruling and many cheered given that they believe the US is now in a “post-Roe America.”
Among those attending the pro-life rally was the Rev. Neal Berkey. He is associate pastor at Las Vegas’ Liberty Baptist Church. He recalled his response when hearing about Friday’s high court ruling.
“Hearing that for the first time I thought, ‘Oh great, there’s more freedom that we have in our country,’” Berkey told the crowd, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Carolyn Schoen, 76, of Las Vegas, expressed her religious faith at the rally.
“God sent me here,” Schoen was quoted by the Review-Journal. “He just laid it on my heart that I needed to do something for the pro-life movement.”
She also wants Nevada to make it more difficult to get an abortion.
I’m hoping that the people of Nevada will change our laws, because it seems like it’s in our constitution that we’re an abortion safe state and they don’t want to put any restrictions on it,” Schoen told the crowd. “I’m hoping it changes legally.”
On Friday, at least a hundred pro-choice protestors assembled in front of the Lloyd George US Courthouse on Las Vegas Boulevard. They also walked on the Las Vegas Strip. Another pro-choice rally was held outside of Las Vegas City Hall.
One of those who showed up at the rally, Kimberly Argueta, told KVVU, a local TV station, she had an abortion when she got pregnant during an abusive relationship.
“I had the choice. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that choice,” Argueta told the TV station. “We are here for the ones that don’t have a voice.”
It is just scary, scary time to live in. We are women. We fought so long for our rights and to just go backwards in time, it’s just horrible,” Argueta further told KVVU.
Another individual at the rally, Amber Carlton, also had an abortion.
“It just unfortunately wasn’t something that would make it to term and I truly wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the right to choose,” Carlton was quoted by KVVU.
Among those who spoke publicly in recent days in favor of abortion rights is Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, D.
“I’ve been unwavering in my commitment to protecting the right to abortion. And in Carson City, we’ve made progress expanding access to reproductive freedom and to critical contraceptives,” the governor said in a statement provided to Casino.org.
In contrast, Republican challenger to Sisolak, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, calls himself “pro-life.” He won the Republican primary last month.
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