Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Arkansas abortion rights groups collect enough signatures to advance ballot measure

By 37ci3 Jul6,2024


The proposed A correction Enshrining access to abortion services in the Arkansas state constitution moved one step closer to appearing on the November 2024 ballot after the group behind it submitted the required number of valid signatures on Friday.

Arkansans for Limited Government, the group leading the ballot effort, said it has collected more than 100,000 signatures from registered voters — more than the roughly 90,700 it needs to submit by July 5 to continue the process of receiving its proposal. ballot paper.

Unlike coalitions fighting for similar measures in other states, the group, which includes no endorsements or endorsements from major national abortion rights groups like Planned Parenthood, also said it met the state law’s requirement that the total number be included. signatures of registered voters in at least 50 of the state’s 75 counties.

The announcement means Arkansas is the final of nine states in November where organizers seeking to enshrine abortion rights in their state constitutions have officially submitted the necessary number of signatures to move the process forward. (In the other two, New York and Maryland, legislators control the amendment placement process.)

The measures are officially on the ballot in Colorado, Maryland, Florida, South Dakota, Nevada and New York. Arkansas is now in between the other five (along with Arizona, Missouri, Montana and Nebraska) organizers have submitted signatures, but additional steps remain before the measure is approved to appear on the ballot.

In Arkansas, the group’s proposal, called the Arkansas Abortion Amendment, would protect access to abortion in the state constitution up to 18 weeks after conception. The proposal would also protect access to abortion for all pregnancies beyond that point, in cases where the result of rape and consanguinity are the result of a fatal fetal abnormality and where abortion care is necessary to preserve the life or physical health of the pregnant woman.

Currently, almost all abortion care in Arkansas is governed by the US Supreme Court’s Roe v. It was banned under a 2022 state law that took effect after Wade overturned the case. Current state law makes exceptions for abortion care only when the mother’s life is at risk. The Arkansas Department of Health he said there were zero abortions was reported to have been implemented in the state in 2023.

Passage of the amendment in November would effectively repeal the 2022 law.

However, this result facing uphill.

Abortion opponents in the ruby ​​red state have fought every step of the way to advance the proposed amendment.

Unlike nearly every other state where an abortion rights amendment is already or likely to be on the ballot this fall, requests It broadly shows that a majority of voters in Arkansas oppose the notion of legalizing abortion in all or most cases.

Underscoring these problems is the fact that organizers needed every last minute to surpass the 90,700 signatures needed to continue the voting process. Organizers said Monday that they are still about 10,000 signatures short of their overall goal and that they are still looking at 10 counties where they have not met the requirements for each year.

In addition, the anti-abortion group American United for Life, In 2024, it ranked Arkansas as “America’s most pro-life state.”.





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