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Arizona Abortion Rights Amendment Garners Sufficient Signatures for 2024 Vote

Arizonans “want to see access to abortion restored in the state of Arizona,” said Cheryl Bruce of Arizona for Abortion Access.

Abortion rights protesters chant during a Pro Choice rally at the Tucson Federal Courthouse in Tucson, Arizona on July 4, 2022.

On Tuesday, Arizona for Abortion Access, a coalition of reproductive rights organizations, including the ACLU of Arizona and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, announced that they had gathered sufficient voter signatures for their initiative to qualify for the November ballot. If passed, the initiative would amend the Arizona Constitution to safeguard abortion access.

“This number is a testament to how popular reproductive freedom and protecting abortion access are among Arizona voters,” Chris Love, a spokesperson for the campaign and a senior adviser to Arizona for Abortion Access and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, said in a statement.

The coalition reported collecting 506,892 petition signatures, with over three months remaining until the July 3 deadline for submitting them to Arizona’s secretary of state. The threshold to place a measure on the ballot is 383,923 signatures. Although it is anticipated that some signatures might be invalidated during verification, it appears probable that the measure will appear on the ballot for voters in the fall election.

“This is an issue that people are eager to see on the ballot,” said Cheryl Bruce, the campaign manager for Arizona for Abortion Access. “As our volunteers are out collecting, people are coming up to them, folks are coming up to them and wanting to sign this petition.”

According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, Arizona had an abortion “trigger ban” on the books when Dobbs overturned the constitutional right to an abortion in June 2022. While the Arizona Court of Appeals enjoined enforcement of the state’s trigger ban on October 7, 2022, a decision by the State Supreme Court regarding the legality of a 1864 abortion ban could be imminent. The state currently has a 15-week abortion ban in effect.

“[Arizonans] want to see access to abortion restored in the state of Arizona,” Bruce said.

In March, Arizona State Sen. Eva Burch (D) announced that state law had “interfered” with her ability to obtain an abortion for a nonviable pregnancy. She said on the state Senate floor that when she sought abortion care in the state, her doctor told her that she would need to receive an unnecessary and “invasive” transvaginal ultrasound under state law. The doctor was also mandated to recite “factually false” information about abortion to her before proceeding. Burch demanded that abortion access be protected in the state so that other people would not have to go through a similar experience.

“Our decision-making should be grounded in expert testimony and in consensus from both the medical community and from constituents, and free from political posturing and partisan bias. But that’s not what I see happening,” Burch said. “So, I truly hope that Arizonans have the opportunity to weigh in on abortion on the ballot in November.”

Arizona is one of possibly 11 states that may have measures that protect or expand abortion rights on the ballot this fall. Florida, Maryland and New York have secured measures to protect or expand abortion rights for inclusion on the fall ballot, and abortion ballot initiative efforts are ongoing in eight more states. In the 20 months following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, advocates for abortion rights have been successful in every election where the issue has been directly voted upon.

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