A group of Arizona organizations have filed to add a ballot measure to the 2024 general election that would amend the state’s constitution to guarantee abortion access, following the lead of other states that have enshrined abortion access into their constitutions following the overturning of Roe v. Wade last year.
Organizations including the ACLU of Arizona, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona and NARAL Arizona are coming together in support of the new Arizona for Abortion Access political action committee.
The PAC has filed the paperwork to add the “Arizona Abortion Access Act” to the November 2024 ballot, which would enshrine abortion access to abortions into the Arizona state constitution.
“Since the fall of Roe, we have seen our communities come together as a multigenerational and multiracial movement for reproductive freedom to fight for Arizonans’ fundamental rights, and this ballot initiative will continue to build on this momentum,” Candace Lew, Arizona for Abortion Access Chair, said in a statement. “Thousands of Arizonans will power this grassroots effort to not only pose this question to voters, but ensure it passes next November.”
Abortions in Arizona are currently banned after 15 weeks and state Medicaid coverage for terminating pregnancies is prohibited outside of some limited circumstances. Medication abortions are also subject to some restrictions with Arizona law blocking the drugs from being provided through telehealth services.
Voters in California and Vermont passed similar ballot measures enshrining abortion access into their respective state constitutions last year, though neither of these states has stronger restrictions on abortions.
If the ballot measure is accepted by Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes (D), the state would join Maryland, New York and Ohio in voting on abortion access amendments. The vote for Ohio’s ballot measure is the soonest, coming up on Nov. 7, while the ballot measures for Maryland and New York are set for 2024.
A vote on a separate ballot measure on Tuesday stands to make it potentially harder for the abortion measure in Ohio to pass. Issue 1 would raise the threshold for ballot measures to pass and critics have argued it is a purposeful attempt at sabotaging the proposed abortion amendment.
“This proposal put forth in Arizona by the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and other far left special interest groups aims to create an Arizona unrecognizable to those of us who live here,” Maria Birnbaum, Arizona field director for the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, said in a release.
“The ACLU and the abortion lobby’s extreme and barbaric vision for Arizona aligns with their own radical agenda to eliminate parental rights and eliminate any protection for the unborn, not what Arizonans believe.”