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Nevada abortion law not at stake with today’s U.S. Supreme Court hearing

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 4:30 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Here in Nevada a 31-year-old abortion law stands unless voters decide otherwise--that’s regardless of what the U.S Supreme Court says.

That’s because those who pushed for a ballot question back in 1990 knew this day would come.

“We knew it because we saw what was happening back in other states,” says Mylan Hawkins who was the campaign manager for Ballot Question 7.

Hawkins and other women and men in Nevada decided they wanted to solidify Roe v. Wade in the Silver State by collecting signatures around Nevada and placing a referendum on the ballot. It was Question 7 on that year’s ballot.

“We were extremely successful,” says Hawkins. “We collected at that time statewide and in every county, more signatures ever for either an initiative or a referendum,” she says.

The referendum asked voters if they wanted to keep Nevada’s laws intact to follow the Roe v. Wade decision.

The campaign was a contentious one. But on election night, it would pass by 64%. Contained within the question: any changes made to the law would have to be initiated by the state legislature approved by that body once and approved by the voter twice.

“A big task,” says Hawkins.

During the campaign, opponents claimed Nevada would become an abortion state, where women from around the country would come to undergo the procedure.

Hawkins says such dire warnings are not unfounded.

“In fact it was the late great Maya Miller who said once we were the divorce capital of the world. It would be sad if we had to turn into a tourist facility for women seeking a legal abortion,” says Hawkins.

With all the steps that needed to be taken to change Nevada’s abortion laws does Hawkins think it will ever happen?

She says never say never.

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