Backers of Arizona abortion amendment say they have signatures for ballot



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Groups working to enshrine abortion rights in Arizona’s constitution said Tuesday they have collected enough signatures to put the amendment on the ballot in November. 

Arizona for Abortion Access — a coalition of organizations including the ACLU of Arizona, Reproductive Freedom for All Arizona and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona — announced they have so far collected more than 500,000 voter signatures, with more than three months left until the July 3 submission deadline. 

The required number of valid voter signatures for constitutional amendments is 383,923.  

“This number is a testament to how popular reproductive freedom and protecting abortion access are among Arizona voters,” Chris Love, a spokeswoman for the campaign, said in a statement.  

Abortion rights activists are working to put amendments on the ballot in as many red and purple states as possible. Arizona is a key swing state, and having an abortion rights question on the ballot could energize Democratic voters in November. 

President Biden won Arizona in 2020 by 0.3 percentage points, becoming only the second Democrat in 70 years to win the state.  

Abortion is currently banned in Arizona after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with an exception for the life of the mother— but not rape or incest. 

The state Supreme Court is also poised to rule on the constitutionality of an 1864 law banning all abortions, which was enacted before Arizona gained statehood. Under that law, performing or helping a woman obtain abortion was a felony punishable by two to five years in prison. 

The proposed amendment would nullify the 15-week ban and the pre-statehood law. It would establish a “fundamental right” to abortion up to the point of viability, which is generally considered to be between 23 and 24 weeks of gestation. It would also have exceptions for some later-term abortions to protect the patient’s health and life, as determined by the treating healthcare provider.  

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