Abortion rights advocates push for 2024 ballot initiative in Arizona

by Madison Thomas
Abortion rights Arizona

Abortion rights supporters in Arizona initiated a campaign on Tuesday to seek a constitutional amendment for abortion rights, a move that further fuels the highly charged debate in the state as it heads into the next election year.

Should they obtain the necessary signatures, Arizona will join other states in posing the question of reproductive rights directly to the electorate. Even in traditionally conservative states, voters have demonstrated strong support for abortion rights.

Democrats’ stance on abortion rights played a role in limiting their losses in the previous midterms after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to terminate the constitutional right to abortion. As President Joe Biden works towards reelection amid declining popularity, the subject continues to be highly relevant.

Currently, Arizona prohibits abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, barring certain exceptions. Foes of abortion have sought permission from the Arizona Supreme Court to enforce a long-standing law that almost entirely prohibits the procedure.

The proposed amendment would safeguard abortion rights until the fetus can survive outside the womb, generally around the 24-week mark, and would also permit later abortions in cases to preserve the mother’s life or physical or mental health.

Chris Love, a senior adviser to Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, acknowledged the uphill struggle for reproductive freedom and stressed the importance of the ballot initiative. Meanwhile, Maria Birnbaum, from the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, criticized the proposal, claiming it could allow late-term abortions.

The GOP has faced difficulties in addressing abortion politics since the Supreme Court removed federal protections last year, resulting in varied restrictions across states.

In states like Kansas and Kentucky, voters have acted to safeguard abortion rights, while in Ohio, there is an ongoing debate. In Arizona’s last midterms, two-thirds of voters considered the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion significant, with a majority supporting Democrat Katie Hobbs, who narrowly became governor.

Hobbs expressed excitement for the opportunity for Arizonans to voice their opinions in the upcoming November election, expressing confidence in their support for a constitutional right to abortion.

Arizona, where Biden won by less than 11,000 votes in 2020, remains a crucial battleground. The President visited the state for the second time on Tuesday, announcing a national monument for the greater Grand Canyon area.

Organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, Affirm Sexual and Reproductive Health, Arizona List, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, NARAL Arizona, and Healthcare Rising Arizona are backing the Arizona initiative. They must gather 384,000 signatures from registered voters by July to have the question appear on the 2024 ballot.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Abortion rights Arizona

What is the proposed constitutional amendment in Arizona about?

The proposed amendment in Arizona would guarantee abortion rights until a fetus can survive outside the womb, typically around 24 weeks of pregnancy. It would also allow later abortions to save the mother’s life or protect her physical or mental health.

Who are the key proponents and opponents of the initiative?

Proponents include organizations like Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona and the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona. Opponents include anti-abortion groups such as Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America.

How many signatures are needed to put the question on the 2024 ballot in Arizona?

A total of 384,000 signatures from registered voters are required by July to place the question on the 2024 ballot in Arizona.

What is the current law regarding abortion in Arizona?

Arizona currently bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with limited exceptions. There have been attempts by abortion opponents to enforce an older law that bans virtually all abortions.

What are the political implications of this initiative in Arizona?

The initiative is injecting the issue of abortion rights into Arizona’s volatile politics, and could impact the battleground state’s elections. The stance on abortion rights has previously helped Democrats in the state, and remains a salient issue as President Joe Biden seeks reelection.

How have voters in other states responded to the question of abortion rights?

Voters in Republican-leaning states like Kansas and Kentucky have acted to protect abortion rights. Meanwhile, there are ongoing debates and different responses in other states, creating a patchwork of restrictions and bans.

How have the Republicans navigated the politics of abortion since the Supreme Court’s decision?

The Republican Party has struggled to navigate the politics of abortion since the Supreme Court’s decision rescinding federal protections for the procedure, leading to a state-by-state variation in restrictions and bans.

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Tom_Riley42 August 9, 2023 - 3:18 am

Arizona is a battleground state, this could change the whole election in 2024. i worry about the future, what are we teaching the nxt generation?

MaryAnn1985 August 9, 2023 - 9:51 am

I can’t believe they’re pushing this. think about the children and whats being done to them. Abortion is not the answer.

SarahG August 9, 2023 - 6:06 pm

Biden won by less than 11000 votes?? That’s crazy. And now this issue is back in the spotlight again…

JamesT August 9, 2023 - 7:41 pm

This initiative is important! We must defend womens rights, every woman should have the choice. Where do I sign??

Kevin_O August 9, 2023 - 11:23 pm

What will it take to get the signatures needed. It seems like a big number but maybe we can do it if we stand togeter.


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