Arizona abortion rights initiative has enough signatures to qualify for ballot, backers say

Apr 3, 2024, 8:30 AM

A woman hunched over in a chair makes a sign that says "My Body My Choice" to support abortion righ...

Backers of an Arizona abortion rights initiative say they have collected 500,000 signatures, over 100,000 more than required to qualify for the November 2024 ballot. (Getty Images File Photo)

(Getty Images File Photo)

PHOENIX – Backers of an initiative to ensure Arizona abortion rights say they have collected enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot in November.

Arizona for Abortion Access has collected more than 500,000 signatures since launching the petition campaign in September 2023, organizers announced Tuesday.

“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, said in a press release.

How many signatures does Arizona abortion rights initiative need?

The measure needs 383,923 valid signatures to make it onto the Nov. 5 ballot. The submission deadline is July 3.

“Since our signature gathering efforts began last fall, we have amassed a grassroots network of well over 3,000 volunteers across Arizona, from Bullhead City to Nogales and hundreds of communities in between,” Cheryl Bruce, Arizona for Abortion Access campaign manager, said in the release. “Voters are eager to sign this petition and have a direct say in restoring abortion access this November.”

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

What is the abortion law in Arizona?

A 2022 law that limits most abortions to the first 15 weeks of pregnancy is currently in effect. However, the state Supreme Court is mulling whether a near-total ban enacted in 1864, before Arizona was a state, should supersede the newer law.

The 2022 law was signed by then-Gov. Doug Ducey just three months before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which had ensured a nationwide right to abortion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Arizona abortion rights initiative has enough signatures to qualify for ballot, backers say