Thousands of protesters march around the Arizona Capitol after the Supreme Court decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion decision Friday, June 24, 2022, in Phoenix.  The Supreme Court on Friday stripped away women’s constitutional protections for abortion, a fundamental and deeply personal change for Americans' lives after nearly a half-century under Roe v. Wade. The court’s overturning of the landmark court ruling is likely to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Abortion Arizona
Thousands of protesters march around the Arizona Capitol after the Supreme Court decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion decision Friday, June 24, 2022, in Phoenix. The Supreme Court on Friday stripped away women’s constitutional protections for abortion, a fundamental and deeply personal change for Americans' lives after nearly a half-century under Roe v. Wade. The court’s overturning of the landmark court ruling is likely to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

A reproductive rights organization is pushing for a constitutional amendment to the Arizona Constitution that would ensure protections for reproductive care services.

Amid the Supreme Court’s overturn of the long-standing abortion rights case Roe v. Wade and the looming threat of a highly-restrictive abortion ban in Arizona, organizations across the state are working to affirm Arizonans’ reproductive rights. 

For one group, Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom, the path to reproductive rights means a citizen’s initiative, known as the Right to Reproductive Rights Initiative. The group has been gathering signatures to put the initiative on this year’s ballot since May. If approved by voters, the proposition would create a constitutional amendment that protects various aspects of reproductive healthcare in Arizona. 

What It Would Do

The initiative would protect individuals’ right to make decisions on “all matters relating to pregnancy, including but not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care.”

But it faces steep obstacles in order to become the newest amendment to Arizona’s Constitution.

Initiated constitutional amendments must receive an amount of qualified elector signatures that equal 15% of the total number of votes cast in the most recent gubernatorial race—which is currently 356,467 signatures. Plus, as electronic signature technology is still relatively new and untested on constitutional amendments, all signatures must be collected in person.

The Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom website lists dozens of locations across seven Arizona counties where signature sheets are available, both for signing and circulating to others.

The Path to November

Once enough signatures have been collected and verified by the Secretary of State, the initiative is put on the next general election ballot, to be decided by the voters by a simple majority. The deadline for initiatives to submit signatures in order to make it on the Nov. 8 ballot is July 7.

If the initiative reaches that point, it may have a fighting chance. According to a recent poll by OH Predictive Insights, an Arizona-based market research firm, only 13% of registered Arizona voters believe abortion should be illegal in all circumstances—with 46% believing that it should be legal in only some circumstances and 41% believing it should be legal in all circumstances.

To support the ballot initiative by signing or circulating the petition, donating to the cause, or coordinating a partnership with a local organization, visit the Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom website at www.azreproductivefreedom.com.

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