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500,000 Arizonans have signed petition for abortion rights ballot measure, group says

More than half a million Arizonans have now signed a  petition to put an abortion rights measure on this year’s ballot, according to the political action committee, Arizona for Abortion Access.

The group needs to submit 383,923 signatures from registered Arizona voters by July 3 to qualify for the ballot. But organizers say they hope to gather at least twice as many as required to guarantee enough signatures are valid. A spokesperson for Arizona for Abortion Access said the group plans to continue circulating its petition until the July deadline.

The proposed ballot measure would enshrine the right to abortion in Arizona’s constitution. It would allow abortions up to the point of fetal viability — around 24 weeks —  with exceptions beyond that when health risks are involved.

Abortion is currently allowed up to 15 weeks in the state, but Arizona’s Supreme Court is considering whether to put a near-total abortion ban into effect. 

An  opposition group has already formed to block the measure, even before it has qualified for ballots. Opponents say the language of the proposed amendment is too broad. 

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