July 1, 2022 - 10:18 pm
Updated July 2, 2022 - 7:24 am
Hundreds of abortion-rights supporters marched along the Strip on Friday to protest the overturning of Roe v. Wade a week before.
The group gathered near the Fountains of Bellagio around 6 p.m. and walked down the sidewalk to Treasure Island. The group then turned around and walked to The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas before heading back to the fountains.
Katie Perry of Las Vegas held a sign that read, “Real men are feminists,” as she marched with the group. Perry said she took part in the march for her 3-month-old daughter.
“I really want her to know that at the end of the day it should be her choice to make the decision on what she wants to do if she has an unplanned pregnancy,” Perry said.
The cry of “My body, my choice!” rang out among the protesters. Some started the chant with bullhorns while others just shouted.
Perry said she felt “complete devastation” upon hearing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last week.
“I’m a sexual abuse survivor,” Perry said. “If I were to get pregnant when that happened, I would not have been in any place to have a baby. The fact that some of these states are OK with making someone have a baby after that traumatic of an incident is not OK.”
The march was organized by Angelina Florczyk and her boyfriend, James Gavigan. They run a group that organizes events for women in Las Vegas.
Gavigan said they were expecting 200-300 people and were shocked by the turnout.
“I never thought that it was going to be like this … I knew everyone cared, but this is amazing to see.” Gavigan said.
Prior to the march, Florczyk and Gavigan talked with Las Vegas police about how the group could safely move down the Strip.
“We’re in a place where a lot of people from out of town come, so this is a perfect place for people from other states to come and see that even in a place that it’s safe people are still out to make some noise and try to make a difference,” Gavigan said.
Las Vegas resident Michelle Demitiro said she got emotional when she saw how many people had gathered for the march.
“I don’t know why they’re trying to regulate our bodies now … I believe in my body, my choice,” Demitiro said.
About an hour after the march began, protesters were still gathered in front of the fountains, with some just starting the walk down the Strip.
Some of the signs read, “Guns have more rights than women in America” and “It’s time to Ovary-act!”
“It’s honestly amazing to know that you’re not alone in your views and that this many people within your community support the same thing that you support and think it’s just as important,” Perry said.
Protester Rochelle Jones’ chant and sign declared the same message: “Abort the court!”
“Nobody should tell you what you can’t do because you have to do what’s best,” Jones said.
Last week, protesters gathered at the Lloyd George U.S. Courthouse in downtown Las Vegas and marched to the Strip hours after the Supreme Court overturned nearly 50 years of precedent.
“I think their decision was stupid, and hopefully they fix it,” Demitiro said. “I hope Nevada stays a safe state.”