Health care providers gather at Arizona Capitol to show support for abortion ballot measure

Jun 11, 2024, 4:35 AM | Updated: Jun 13, 2024, 6:17 am

PHOENIX — Physicians and patients gathered on the Arizona Capitol lawn to support a ballot measure that would ensure statewide abortion rights on Monday.

That ballot measure is the Arizona Abortion Access Act. This proposed constitutional amendment would ensure statewide abortion rights until a fetus could survive outside the womb.

Arizona for Abortion Access, the group behind the ballot measure, has been working to put the measure on the Nov. 5 ballot.

So far, over 550 medical professionals across the state have signed a letter endorsing the measure, according to the Committee to Protect Health Care.

Why advocates support measure to ensure statewide abortion rights

One of them is Andrew Carroll, a family physician in Chandler.

“Here in Arizona, politicians have been playing games with reproductive health care,” Carroll said. “It’s on us to stop this dangerous interference. It’s on us to vote yes on the Arizona Abortion Access Act to ensure that medical decisions are made by patients, their loved ones and their trusted health care providers.”

One such patient was Robin Williams, an East Valley mother and signature collector.

She said she had several reasons for supporting the ballot measure. Chief among them is the fact that, in the ’70s, she saw what happened to women when they lacked safe abortion access.

“They were hemorrhaging from back alley abortions, there were using hangers, knitting needles. They were ingesting bleach, and it was a very scary and tragic time for us,” Williams said.

Williams, who has also had an abortion, said she couldn’t believe abortion access has gone backward since that time.

All of the bans and restrictions we have in Arizona hurt women, she added.

“They’re hurting women who want a safe and healthy pregnancy,” Williams said, adding that she’s known many women who needed abortions later in pregnancy due to health issues.

“Despite the lies of anti-abortion extremists, I’ve talked to thousands of voters over the past eight months,” she added. “I can tell you firsthand that support for abortion crosses all political lines, all ages and all walks of life.”

She said all Arizonans deserve the right to access safe health care.

What’s next for abortion advocates in Arizona?

The campaign to get the measure on the November ballot is in the final weeks of signature collection.

In April, Arizona for Abortion Access said it has already collected 500,000 signatures and counting. The measure needs 383,923 valid signatures by the July 3 filing deadline to make it onto the Nov. 5 ballot.

Advocates didn’t give an updated number at the press conference. However, they said there is a statewide day of action this Saturday.

Arizona for Abortion Access is calling on its 7,000 statewide petition signature collectors to submit their signed petitions. Once they do, the organization will sign, notarize and return petitions to ensure the measure gets on the ballot.

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Health care providers gather at Arizona Capitol to show support for abortion ballot measure