Photos by Ty O’Neil | Video by Bob Conrad
The overturning of Roe v. Wade on Friday drew a massive crowd to downtown Reno. Hundreds gathered by 7 p.m. at the Bruce R. Thompson U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building.
The crowd grew so large, people spilled onto South Virginia Street. A single megaphone was not enough for speakers to cut through loud chants by the crowd.
Numerous passersby honked, screamed and chanted in support of those protesting what they said was a devastating decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the 50-year ruling that protected the right of women to get an abortion.
Conservative justices determined there is no federal constitutional right for an abortion – states, such as Nevada, can maintain abortion protections. But after the ruling, some states, like Missouri, immediately declared abortion illegal.
People across the country were outraged by the Supreme Court decision.
Groups such as Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, Indivisible Nevada, the ACLU of Nevada and the Wild West Action Fund of Nevada participated in last night’s protest.
“We’re gathered this evening to grieve,” said Mauren Scott with Wild West Action of Fund, which helps woman pay for abortions in Nevada.
Scott said, while based in Nevada, the fund helps reduce abortion costs not just from people in urban and rural Nevada, but also from other states where abortion is now illegal.
Demonstrators took over downtown.
They left the federal building about 40 minutes after the start of the demonstration. The group quickly took over Virginia Street, marching north. After a pause at the Virginia Street bridge, demonstrators headed to the Reno arch where they stayed for more chanting and words of protest.
The group from there turned west, then walked back south on Sierra Street ending back to the courthouse, where Virginia Street remained closed at 9 p.m. as the group, by now smaller than from when the rally began, sat in the dark.
A projected image from the courthouse steps lit up the parking garage across the street.
It read: “Reno is for choice.”
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By Ty O’Neil
By Cesar Lopez
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.