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Abortion access fund in Nevada sees flood of donations following Roe leak

Abortion Protests
AP Photo/John Locher

People rally in support of abortion rights Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in Las Vegas.

The leaked draft decision by the Supreme Court has deepened the debate over a women’s right to choose an abortion in this country.

That was very clear, when on Monday on this program, we discussed the potential impact of that decision on Nevada and nationwide.

We want to thank you for all your calls, emails and comments, but we couldn’t get to everyone, so we continued the conversation on Tuesday.


Caitlyn Caruso, a board member of the Wild West Fund, said they are working with a national fund for those seeking abortion care in Nevada.

Since June 2021, they've helped about 200 people, including travelers from Texas, Mississippi, Utah and Arizona. A majority of those coming from out of state are from Texas, where abortion is banned after six weeks.

The all-volunteer nonprofit helps fund travel for those seeking abortion access, as well.

“There's a variety of different needs that our callers have, and a variety of different circumstances, and we try to meet their needs to the best of our ability. That can look like childcare, lodging, transportation, Ubers. We're going to see this need, this travel and transport need, grow immensely following the Roe decision becoming finalized,” she said.

She said the final Roe decision, which many believe will be close to the leaked draft, “isn’t surprising,” and that activists like Caruso had seen it coming for several years.

However, abortion is expensive and out of reach for many, Caruso said. Since the leak, the Wild West Abortion Fund has seen an influx in donations.

We see a lot of support from the progressive community, younger people, elderly folk who fought for this decades ago … We saw in the 1990s that Nevadans care deeply about abortion access.

No matter what the courts say, Caruso said they’ll keep fighting: “We are going to continue funding abortions for those who need it. And we're going to continue doing the work to ensure the most marginalized have access to the care that they need.”

Anti-abortion activist Angelique Clark said abortion “takes a human life,” and that she’s known women who were harmed or regretted their abortion. She considers any contraception a form of abortion.

“A lot of emergency contraception including the birth control pill, they function as abortifacients,” she said. “They basically just cause early abortions and stop the life of the fetus. It's already growing.”

Emergency contraception is commonly known in the U.S. as Plan B, and prevents pregnancy from occurring. The “morning after pill,” as it’s sometimes called, is a drug called progestin, a hormone regularly used in lower doses in some birth control pills.

Pills used in a self-managed abortion use a combination of mifepristone and misoprostol, which stop a pregnancy from growing. More than half of all abortions are done with those medications.

For more information on the difference, including how both pills work and how effective they are,  click here.

“I just see that as a huge injustice to humanity and to what we know is the fundamental right to life,” Clark said.

Joanne from Pahrump called in toward the end of the show. She’s 89 now, but in 1987, she said she and her friends joined an abortion rally in Los Angeles.

“Men are responsible, and they shouldn't have a say for this,” she said. “But I think people should give some thought to that, that if women had the vote, it wouldn't ever come up.”

Angelique Clark, anti-abortion activist, founder of LifeDress.orgCaitlyn Caruso, abortion rights advocate, board member, Wild West Action Fund

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Christopher Alvarez is a news producer and podcast audio editor at Nevada Public Radio for the State of Nevada program, and has been with them for over a year.
Lorraine Blanco Moss is the host of KNPR's award-winning Asian American Pacific Islander podcast, Exit Spring Mountain. She's also a producer for State of Nevada, specializing in food and hospitality, women's issues, and sports. She started at Nevada Public Radio in October 2021.
Kristen DeSilva (she/her) is the online editor for Nevada Public Radio. She curates content on, our weekly newsletter and social media for Nevada Public Radio and Desert Companion.