Activists Fail to Gather Enough Signatures to Put Right to Abortion on Ballot

Activists Fail to Gather Enough Signatures to Put Right to Abortion on Ballot

By Corinne Murdock |

The Tucson-based Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom canceled their Thursday filing appointment with the secretary of state’s office to put a constitutional right to abortion on November’s ballot after collecting less than half of the signatures required. That might explain why the abortion rights group never responded to our June 20 press inquiry on their signature-gathering progress.

In a tweeted statement, Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom insisted that they hadn’t failed. They also compared their effort to a Michigan campaign that qualified for the November ballot this week. The group touted that its signature-gathering pace far exceeded that of the Michigan campaign, which began two years ago.

However, the Michigan ballot measure in question doesn’t concern abortion at all — it concerns term limit requirements for state legislators and financial disclosure requirements for state executive and legislative officials. 

The group pledged that they would be continuing their efforts to ensure a 2024 ballot measure. 

The abortion rights group first launched their effort in late May. They reported collecting over 175,000 signatures — about 49 percent of the over 356,400 signatures they needed. 

The proposed constitutional amendment is reproduced below:

Every individual has a fundamental right to reproductive freedom, which entails the right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including but not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care.

Neither the state nor any political subdivision shall restrict, penalize, frustrate, or otherwise interfere with the exercise of the right to reproductive freedom, including: any individual’s access to contraception; pre-viability medical and surgical termination of pregnancy; or medical and surgical termination of pregnancy when necessary to preserve the individual’s health or life.

Neither the state nor any political subdivision shall restrict, penalize, frustrate, or otherwise interfere with a qualified, licensed healthcare professional providing medical services or any person providing non-medical services necessary for the exercise of the right to reproductive freedom.

The term ‘viability’ means the point in a pregnancy at which, in the good-faith medical judgment of the qualified, licensed healthcare professional, based on the particular facts of the case before the healthcare professional, there is a reasonable likelihood of sustained fetal survival outside the uterus with or without artificial support.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.