Arizona abortion rights groups came together Thursday to announce that they would begin the monumental task of collecting over 500,000 signatures from voters in favor of protecting abortion access in the state constitution.
“We know that the majority of Arizonans—no matter how they personally feel about abortion—agree with us,” said Chris Love, senior advisor to Arizona for Abortion Access. “Pregnant people should have the freedom to make decisions about pregnancy and abortion with their trusted healthcare providers, and without government intervention.”
Arizonans do in fact support broader freedoms regarding access to abortion. An August poll conducted by Data for Progress found that 60% of Arizona voters consider themselves pro-choice, and 58% disagree with the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
What the Proposal Would Do
Once signatures are collected and validated, the initiative will be placed on the 2024 ballot. If passed, the Arizona Abortion Access Act would:
- Restore abortion access in the state up to the point of fetal viability, usually up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.
- Allow abortions at any point of pregnancy if needed to protect the physical or mental health of the pregnant person.
- Prohibit any future laws that would penalize anyone aiding someone in getting an abortion.
Currently, Arizona has a 15-week ban on abortion, and the state Supreme Court is currently reconsidering a pre-statehood law that mandates prison time for abortion providers.
Ready to Collect Signatures
After months of planning and fine-tuning the language of the proposal, Arizona for Abortion Access can now begin collecting signatures for their ballot proposition. Though the required amount of signatures for a ballot initiative for a constitutional amendment is 383,923 signatures, the leaders say they plan to collect well over half a million.
Historically, legal challenges have caused initiatives with a low number of signatures to be tossed from the ballot, so Love said the additional signatures are a necessary precaution.
Love said their “army of paid and volunteer petition circulators” will fan out across Arizona shortly, where they are expected to be found at sporting events, concerts, farmer’s markets, and nearly every large gathering across the state.
Those interested in signing the petition or volunteering to help in their efforts are encouraged to visit the Arizona for Abortion Access website.
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