With Nearly Double the Support Needed, Advocates Submit Abortion Rights Petition in Nevada

The abortion rights ballot measure has garnered attention because of the state’s key role in the upcoming 2024 presidential election.

AP/Jose Luis Magana
Anti-abortion and abortion-rights activists rally outside the Supreme Court, March 26, 2024, at Washington. AP/Jose Luis Magana

Abortion rights advocates in Nevada have submitted a petition with nearly double the number of signatures required to appear on ballots in November, a move that, if approved, could potentially affect the presidential election in the key swing state.

Nevadans for Reproductive Freedom announced Monday that it has the support of 200,000 named citizens, with 103,000 signatures necessary. “The number of signatures gathered in just over three months shows how deeply Nevadans believe in abortion rights and its importance for this moment in our nation’s history,” the group’s president, Lindsey Harmon, said at a press conference. 

State officials have until July 8 to certify the signatures. The measure in question would enshrine the state’s current policy on reproductive rights in the constitution. 

Abortion rights are protected in Nevada through the 24th week of pregnancy. Abortion rights advocates are aiming to put this protection in the state constitution, in an effort to make it more difficult for state lawmakers to roll back the protection.

If it is approved for the ballot and passes in November, voters in Nevada would weigh in on the measure again in 2026 to formally approve the amendment to the constitution.

In Nevada, the abortion rights ballot measure has garnered attention because of the state’s key role in the upcoming 2024 presidential election.

Abortion rights have proved to be a winning issue for Democrats since Roe v. Wade was overturned and there is hope, among Democrats, that a ballot measure could help boost turnout among voters who prefer the Democrats’ position on the issue.

As it stands, abortion rights are far more popular than President Biden is in Nevada. According to the Pew Research Center, some 62 percent of Nevadans think abortion should be legal in all or most cases, whereas 34 percent believe it should be illegal in all or most circumstances.

Mr. Biden, on the other hand, trails President Trump 44 percent to 30 percent among likely voters in the state, according to a recent New York Times and Siena College survey of the state. Another 11 percent support attorney Robert Kennedy Jr., who is running as an independent.

Current polling suggests a marked shift in Nevada since the 2020 presidential election, when Mr. Biden carried the state by more than 30,000 votes, 50.1 percent to 47.7 percent.

Nevada is not the only state where Democrats are hoping that a ballot measure might give them a boost in November. In Arizona, abortion rights advocates in April submitted a petition for an amendment, which is likely to appear on the ballot in November.


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