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Abortion rights amendment could be on Arizona ballots in 2024

Arizona voters could get the chance to decide if abortion rights should be guaranteed under the state's constitution.

A coalition of organizations including the ACLU, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona and NARAL Arizona is launching a new political action committee to get an abortion rights measure onto Arizona ballots in 2024. The committee, known as Arizona for Abortion Access, announced Tuesday it was filing proposed language for the “Arizona Abortion Access Act" with the Secretary of State's Office.

Lauren Gilger speaks with Jodi Liggett, one of the advocates behind the measure and senior adviser to NARAL Arizona, on The Show

jodi-ligget-abortion-measure-live-lg-show-20230809.mp3

Abortion is currently banned after 15 weeks gestation in the state. The proposed constitutional amendment would allow abortions up to the point of fetal viability – usually around 24 weeks. It would also allow exceptions later in pregnancy when health risks are involved.

Chris Love, a senior advisor to Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, said the organizations’ internal polling shows most Arizona voters would support that.

“We think they will follow us, they will sign petitions, and we can drive them to the polls,” Love told KJZZ News.

To put the issue before voters in the 2024 general election, the groups will have to gather signatures from at least 383,923 Arizona voters by July 3.

After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, grassroots organizers attempted a last-minute campaign to gather signatures to put an abortion rights measure on 2022 ballots in Arizona, but were ultimately unsuccessful. Love said she is confident this year’s campaign will meet its goal.

“We’ve gone through several rounds of drafting language with local attorneys as well as national attorneys who have worked on other ballot initiatives, so we think we are well situated this time to make it on the ballot and actually win,” Love said.

The group plans to start gathering signatures next month.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The story was updated to correct the spelling of Jodi Liggett's name.

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Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent. She has produced work for NPR, New England Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, PRI's The World, Washington Post, Reuters and more.She has a master’s degree in radio journalism from the USC Annenberg School of Journalism.She lives in central Phoenix with her husband, two daughters, and ill-behaved cat and dog. Her side-passions include photography, crosswords and hot sauce.