Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Arizona abortion rights amendment backers says they’ve gathered signatures needed for 2024 ballot

By 37ci3 Apr2,2024

PHOENIX – Groups working to enshrine reproductive rights in the Arizona state constitution say they have passed the signature threshold to put an abortion constitutional amendment on the state’s November ballot.

Arizona for Abortion, a coalition of reproductive rights organizations including the Arizona ACLU and Arizona Planned Parenthood Advocates, said it had collected 506,892 petition signatures as of this weekend and more than three months until July 3. Signatures for the Arizona Secretary of State. The threshold to put a measure on the ballot is 383,923 signatures, and while some would normally be considered invalid in the vetting process, the amendment will go before voters this fall.

“This is an issue that people want to see on the ballot,” said Cheryl Bruce, campaign manager for Abortion Arizona. “When our volunteers are gathering, people are coming up to them, people are coming up to them and they want to sign this petition,” Bruce said. “They want to see abortion access restored in the state of Arizona,” she said.

Having the issue on the ballot this fall, alongside President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, will elevate the primary plan on the Democratic platform in a major battleground. The Supreme Court’s 2022 decision overturning Dobbs v. Roe Wade and leaving control of abortion policy to the states has been a staple of Democratic campaigns.

Biden won Arizona by 0.3 percentage points four years ago. It is the closest state as of 2020 that will have an abortion ballot measure before voters this fall. Monday, Florida’s Supreme Court upheld a similar November ballot measure there, while also upholding the state’s existing restrictions on abortion.. Trump won 3.4 points in Florida in 2020.

The constitutional amendment Proposed by Arizona for Abortion Access, it would create a “fundamental right” to access abortion care until fetal viability, or about the 24th week of pregnancy, with exceptions if a health care provider determines it is necessary to “preserve life.” or the physical or mental health of the pregnant person.” Opponents of the event are in the spotlight potentially broad application of the mental health exceptionargues that this would make it much easier to terminate live pregnancies.

Under current Arizona law, abortion is legal up to the 15th week of pregnancy, after which there are no exceptions for rape or consanguinity except to save the life of the mother.

A state Supreme Court decision on the abortion ballot battle could come down at any moment on the 1864 abortion ban still on the books. This law is based on Roe v. It was not in effect before Wade, but it made it a felony for a woman to perform or assist in an abortion, punishable by two to five years in prison.

The uncertainty surrounding abortion rights in the state has led to an influx of volunteers donating their time and energy to collect signatures for abortion access in Arizona. Campaign spokesman Chris Love says the group has recruited more than 3,000 volunteers.

One of those volunteers is retired Toby Urvater, 62, who spends his free time collecting signatures outside small businesses in downtown Phoenix.

“I became a notary specifically for this referendum,” said Urvater, of Phoenix. “I grew up with Roe v. Wade,” he said. “It’s devastating to know that people in some states across the country no longer have that option.”

Deborah Nye, 75, is another volunteer collecting signatures for Abortion for Arizona. In high school, Roe v. She became pregnant against Wade and then made the difficult decision to have an illegal abortion.

“I had an illegal abortion, I risked my life to do it. And I think it’s really sad that anybody has to be put in that situation,” Nye said, recalling the experience as a teenager.

Nye, a mother, says the thought of her daughter losing her right to an abortion is motivating her to collect more signatures.

“When I do this, I always have my daughter in mind because she is of childbearing age now. And I would never want her to be in the situation I was in as a young woman,” Nye said.

Although the organization did not stop with half a million signatures, opponents of abortion rights Tell NBC News they have attorneys ready to scrutinize every signature Abortion Arizona solicits.

“Our goal is still 800,000,” said Bruce, who said his organization aims to more than double the number of valid signatures required for July handovers, adding: “All of our circulators are highly trained … and they all work very hard at it.” .The way they collect signatures to make sure we are well prepared to withstand any legal challenge the opposition plans to throw our way.”

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By 37ci3

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