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Campaign for Choice Records

 Collection
Identifier: 94-57
The records reflect the nature of the campaign structure, which consisted of offices in Reno and Las Vegas and a statewide steering committee. Both the north and south kept separate records, and this separation has been retained. Materials sent to the regional offices by the statewide office, however, remain with the statewide office files, and duplication has for the most part, been eliminated. Records after April 1990, when the north and south offices consolidated, are fairly cohesive and more complete than for the earlier period.

Although the bulk of the campaign business records retain their original arrangement by subject, the subjects themselves have been rearranged to form a clear, chronological record of the campaign stages and activities, such as petition drives and polls. Because media outreach formed the major aspect of the latter stages of the campaign, the materials were divided into medium first and then arranged by date. Of particular interest are the media overviews and strategic plans developed by the Northwest Creative Arts, a professional organization hired to run the campaign and ensure successful passage of Question 7.

Supplementing the records specific to Campaign for Choice is a substantial group of background materials relating to other pro-choice groups, such as Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Rights Action League. Anti-abortion materials are included and groups represented include Choose Life, Operation Rescue, and Nevada Physicians for Life. The statistical reports, newspaper clippings, and magazine articles relating to abortion in general have been arranged chronologically.

The records in this collection depict a short, intense, well-orchestrated political effort to safeguard existing reproductive rights for Nevada women. All aspects of this controversial issue are portrayed through records documenting not just the campaign effort, but the philosophical objections of groups opposed to the effort.

Photographs and video cassettes have been transferred to the Special Collections Photo Archives as collection number UNRS-P1997-17.

Dates

  • 1989-1991

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Extent

2 Cubic Feet (2 boxes)

Overview

Campaign for Choice was organized in Reno, Nevada in August 1989 to ensure passage of Question 7 on the November 6, 1990 ballot. In essence, Question 7 affirmed an existing Nevada statute (NRS 442.250 based on Roe vs. Wade) and prohibited its modification or repeal except by a direct vote of the people. If Question 7 failed, the Nevada statute would be void, enabling the legislature to regulate, modify, and even prohibit reproductive rights for women. The campaign was successful, however, and Roe vs. Wade remains the current Nevada law. Included are minutes, correspondence, clippings, financial and legal documents, and audio recordings relating to the Campaign for Choice's political efforts, and to abortion in general.

Administrative History

Following the Supreme Court decision in 1989 which opened the door for individual states to modify existing abortion laws, a group of citizens met to formulate a strategy for preserving access to abortion and ensuring reproductive choice for Nevada women. Given the strong anti-choice legislative climate in Nevada and the fact that several legislative attempts had been made to restrict abortion, the group decided that the referendum mechanism would be the best route to ensure choice.

Campaign for Choice was organized in Reno, Nevada in August 1989 to ensure passage of Question 7 on the November 6, 1990 ballot. In essence, Question 7 affirmed an existing Nevada statute (NRS 442.250 based on Roe vs. Wade) and prohibited its modification or repeal except by a direct vote of the people. If Question 7 failed, the Nevada statute would be void, enabling the legislature to regulate, modify, and even prohibit reproductive rights for women. The campaign was successful, however, and Roe vs. Wade remains the current Nevada law.

The campaign involved several distinct phases and correlating operational and personnel changes. The first phase consisted of the November 6, 1990 ballot; the second phase consisted of a concentrated media outreach effort to make sure the referendum passed. In the first phase, a board of directors and a statewide steering committee guided a northern (Reno) and southern (Las Vegas) office. In the second phase, a five-member executive committee presided over a campaign staff, a large board of directors, and several small committees. Although outside agencies were employed to create strategies, gather signatures, conduct polls and surveys, and develop media campaigns, Campaign for Choice remained primarily a volunteer effort to preserve the right of reproductive choice for women.

With the passage of the referendum, Campaign for Choice’s work was largely finished, although the board continued to act as a legislative watchdog on abortion issues, including parental notification laws.

Arrangement

Arranged in the following series: 1) Administration; 2) Financial; 3) Legal; 4) Campaign; 5) Background Materials; 6) Ephemera

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Maggie Tracey, the former president of the board of directors, in 1995. Additional materials donated by Joni Kaiser in September 2011.

Separated Materials

Photographs transferred to the Special Collections Photo Archives as collection number UNRS-P1997-17.

A Part of

Nevada women's archives.

Creator

Title
Campaign for Choice Records Guide
Status
completed
Author
Victoria Yturralde
Date
November 1995
Description rules
dacs

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Contact:
Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5665
775-682-5724 (Fax)