Reproductive Rights Demonstration
Abortion is legal in the state through 24 weeks of pregnancy. The electorate will now vote whether the state rule should be added to its constitution. AFP

Nevadans will officially vote on an amendment to enshrine abortion in the state during the November elections, officials confirm.

The Nevada secretary of state's office certified on Friday the ballot initiative to amend the State Constitution to include an explicit right to abortion after verifying the signatures required, The New York Times reports.

The group behind the initiative, Nevadans for Reproductive Freedom, submitted 200,000 signatures in May, nearly 100,000 more than needed. The secretary of state told the group it had verified just under 128,000 signatures.

Lindsey Harmon, the president of Nevadans for Reproductive Freedom said in a statement:

"The support this initiative has received from Nevadans throughout the signature collection process shows what we've known to be true: Nevadans believe that healthcare decisions about abortion are best left to women, their doctors, and those they love and trust— not politicians."

Abortion in the state is legal through 24 weeks of pregnancy. But organizers of the ballot initiative are seeking to add this amendment into the State Constitution, since it is harder to change the Constitution than repeal state law.

However, even if the measure passes in November, voters would need to approve it again in 2026 before the Nevada constitution is formally amended, NBC News reports. Nevertheless, the ballot measure could help boost Democratic turnout in Nevada, a battleground state that is hosting competitive races for president and the U.S. Senate.

"We can't take anything for granted," said Harmon. "We know Nevada has always been overwhelmingly pro-choice, and there's no reason it should not be in the Constitution."

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade— which protected the right to abortion— in 2022. Since then, 18 Republican-controlled states have banned the procedure in almost all circumstances or prohibited it after six weeks, before many women find they are pregnant. On the other hand, at least a dozen states, most of them led by Democrats, have passed new protections to abortion since then.

Abortion supporters have been successful in putting reproductive rights on the ballot in at least five other states, including Florida, Colorado, New York, Maryland and South Dakota. Similar initiatives are also underway in Arizona, Arkansas, Missouri, Montana and Nebraska.

Polls show a majority of people in most states say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. In Nevada, 76% of residents are in favor of abortion rights, according to the Public Religion Research Institute. Another study from Emerson College shows 58% of Nevadans said they would vote yes on the ballot measure.

As the issue gets on the ballot, pro-life activists are also advocating against the measure.

Krystal Minera-Alvis, communications director for the anti-abortion group Nevada Right to Life, told The New York Times her group's primary goal is to get the word out about Nevada's existing law, which allows abortions after 24 weeks if a physician deems it necessary to protect the pregnant patient's life or health.

"If the average Nevadan finds out what the law already is, what's already legalized, they would not vote for it," Minera-Alvis said.

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