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VP Harris rallies for reproductive rights in Las Vegas visit

Updated April 16, 2024 - 6:11 pm

Vice President Kamala Harris praised efforts to enshrine abortion rights in Nevada’s Constitution during a Las Vegas visit Monday, just days after Arizona’s state Supreme Court ruled that a near-total abortion ban from 1864 is enforceable.

In her speech, Harris said that women’s reproductive rights are at stake this election.

“This is not about politics, this is not about ideology,” Harris told a crowd of about 100 people at the women-owned Bottega Exchange, a coworking and event space in southwest Las Vegas. “This is about the fact that far too many people are suffering and should not have to.”

She lambasted GOP presidential nominee, former President Donald Trump, for his stance on abortion and his decision to pick the three United States Supreme Court members who were involved in the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The right to an abortion is protected in Nevada under state law. Gov. Joe Lombardo last year signed legislation that protects abortion rights for out-of-state patients seeking care.

Harris on Monday remarked on Arizona’s stance on abortion and argued that Trump’s return to office would pave the way for a nationwide ban on abortions. She thanked organizers and volunteers in Nevada who are preparing a state ballot initiative that would enshrine abortion rights in the Nevada Constitution. Amendments proposed through an initiative petition must be passed twice, which means voters would have to approve it in November and again in 2026 for it to take effect.

As the crowd chanted, Harris called for the re-election of Sen. Jacky Rosen and President Joe Biden.

‘Fight for our lives’

Among those speaking was Democratic Arizona state Sen. Eva Burch, who last month announced to fellow lawmakers that she was going to get an abortion because her pregnancy was no longer viable.

“This is the fight for our lives; and I am here for it,” Burch said.

The other speakers included Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford and Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno, who is also chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party.

Titus warned the crowd that birth control would be next. “There’s no end to it,” she said. Ford called the Supreme Court decision a regressive one that “launched this country into a legal quagmire with its attacks on the right to abortion.”

Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell noted that Harris was visiting Las Vegas during Black Maternal Health Week, which recognizes that Black mothers have a higher maternal mortality rate than other races.

“I have experienced these inequities as a physician in our health care system, both as a patient and as a doctor,” said Curry-Winchell, who described how she almost died in the hospital before being able to hold her baby girl.

Approval at the polls

Black voters, who are more likely to be women, could play an important role in determining the outcome of the 2024 election, according to the Pew Research Center. The center’s analysis found that 92 percent of Black voters cast a vote for Joe Biden, while only 8 percent backed Trump.

As for Harris, her approval rates have declined since she was assigned to look at the influx of immigrants coming through the border, the Los Angeles Times reported. The newspaper found that 55 percent of voters had an unfavorable opinion of Harris as of April 9, slightly lower than Vice President Mike Pence’s net favorability at this point in their respective tenures.

Before her speech on abortion, Harris appeared at Southwest Career and Technical Academy to discuss the impact of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. Signed into law in 2022, the legislation institutes new gun control rules, such as the expansion of background checks.

Harris’ visit marked her fourth trip to the Silver State in 2024 and her 12th time since taking office.

She last traveled to Las Vegas in March to rally supporters in North Las Vegas. She has also recently visited Las Vegas to congratulate the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 on its new contract deals.

A previous version of this story misstated what Vice President Kamala Harris praised regarding abortion rights in Nevada.

Contact Briana Erickson at berickson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5244. Follow @ByBrianaE on Twitter.

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