Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Abortion rights amendment is one step closer to appearing on Arizona’s ballot

By 37ci3 Jul3,2024

PHOENIX – A proposed amendment to the Arizona constitution to enshrine access to abortion is one step closer to appearing on the November 2024 ballot after organizers submitted the required number of valid signatures to state officials on Wednesday.

Arizona for Abortion, group leading their efforts, announced that they had collected the signatures of more than 823,000 registered voters — more than double the 384,000 needed to continue the process of identifying their proposition for the ballot. It’s the largest number of signatures ever submitted for a citizen-led ballot initiative in Arizona, organizers said. NBC News was the first to report the group’s signing.

Arizona State for Abortion spokesman Chris Love said in an interview before the public announcement that the number of signatures “shows the strength of our campaign.”

“We’ve been in the field since last September with our volunteer and paid signature efforts. And so this number is not only record-breaking, but it’s a demonstration of the strength that Arizona voters really want to see on the abortion ballot. They want to measure up, and that’s why they signed,” Love said. “More importantly, we are telling our opposition that they are in for a tough fight.”

The organizers said had collected the required number of signatures months ago, with the intention of waiting until Wednesday to submit as many as possible. The strategy was designed as a show of force and a contingency if a large number of signatures were challenged or rejected by government officials.

The office of Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, a Democrat, now has until Aug. 27 to review the signatures and formally approve the measure for the November ballot.

The proposed constitutional amendment would create a “fundamental right” to obtain an abortion until the fetus is viable. After that point, the measure would prohibit the state from restricting abortion in cases where the health or life of the pregnant woman is at risk, according to the treating health care provider.

The political debate over the future of abortion rights is particularly charged in Arizona. the main battleground stateThe US Supreme Court in 2022 Roe v. After his dismissal of the Wade case.

In April, the conservative Arizona Supreme Court decided to reinstate him Since 1864, abortion has been almost completely banned. After pushback from state and national Republicans, including Republicans, Arizona lawmakers passed the bill. cancels the ban Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs in May signed the law.

The repeal put into effect a 2022 law signed by Arizona’s then-Republican governor that legalized abortion up to the 15th week of pregnancy, except to save the mother’s life, except in cases of rape or consanguinity.

If voters approve the proposed ballot measure in November, it would effectively repeal the 15-week ban.

Putting the abortion issue directly before Arizona voters could also help boost Democratic turnout in the state’s 2024 presidential election, as well as critical Senate and House races.

Constitutional amendments enshrining abortion rights will officially appear on the general election ballot in six states — Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Nevada, New York and South Dakota — this fall, Arizona being one of them. five others (along with Arkansas, Missouri, Montana and Nebraska) where organizers continue to work to develop similar ballot measures.

Adam Edelman reports from New York; Alex Tabet of Phoenix.

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By 37ci3

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