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Arizona Republican legislators speak out against proposed abortion ballot measure

A group of Republican Arizona legislators is speaking out against a  proposed ballot measure to expand abortion access in the state.

Rep. Selina Bliss on Friday spoke at an anti-abortion March for Life rally at the Capitol. She said she and several of her fellow Republican lawmakers had signed a declaration to discourage Arizonans from signing the petition.

"I’m proud today to see us come together to proclaim respect for the sanctity of human life and to promote the protection of all innocent human life from conception on," Bliss told rally attendees. "We in the Arizona Legislature encourage every person to refuse to sign the Arizona Abortion Access Act on the ballot, as this is an assault on God’s value and sovereignty regarding the sanctity of human life."

Abortion rights groups have until July to collect nearly 400,000 signatures to get the measure onto ballots. Their plan would amend the state constitution to allow abortions up to the point of fetal viability — usually around 24 weeks — with exceptions beyond that when health risks are involved. Gov. Katie Hobbs, a Democrat,  has signed the petition.

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Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent reporting on a variety of issues, including public health and climate change.