Arizona Ballot Measure Aims to Protect Abortion Rights Up to 24 Weeks

Arizona's Abortion Access Act ballot measure aims to establish a fundamental right to abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. The initiative comes amid ongoing debates over exemptions and fetal viability, with opponents arguing the exemptions are too broad.

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Arizona Ballot Measure Aims to Protect Abortion Rights Up to 24 Weeks

Arizona Ballot Measure Aims to Protect Abortion Rights Up to 24 Weeks

In Arizona, a politically charged ballot measure known as the Arizona Abortion Access Act is being pushed to ensure the right to abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. This initiative comes amid ongoing debates over exemptions and fetal viability.

The measure aims to establish a fundamental right to abortion up to 24 weeks, which is generally considered the point of fetal viability. According to the Centers for Disease Control, only 0.9% of all abortions performed in the U.S. in 2021, a total of 4,070, occurred after the 20-week mark.

Why this matters: The outcome of thisballot measure could have far-reaching implications for reproductive rights in Arizona and potentially influence similar debates in other states. As the national conversation around abortion continues to evolve, the Arizona Abortion Access Act could set a crucial precedent for the future of abortion laws in the United States.

The initiative is being led by Arizona for Abortion Access, a group working to get the measure on the 2024 ballot. Top donors supporting the initiative include UFCW Local 99 PAC, Juanita Francis, and SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West. Petition signing events are being held across Arizona to gather enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Abortion providers argue that few abortions actually happen past viability and that the notion that women are terminating viable pregnancies for elective reasons is inconsistent with reality. Dr. Gabrielle Goodrick, a doctor at Camelback Family Planning, stated: "In my 30 years, I have never seen a patient get an abortion after viability for a trivial, ridiculous reason. These are very serious decisions that are made with patients, their family and their physicians."

However, opponents of the measure, like Cindy Dahlgren, a spokesperson for the It Goes Too Far campaign, argue that the exemptions in the initiative are so broad that they would effectively allow for abortions at any point in a pregnancy.

The Arizona Abortion Access Act comes after the state's near-total abortion ban, which prohibited the procedure at all stages of pregnancy except to save the life of the mother, was repealed. The repeal was seen as a political catastrophe for Arizona Republicans, threatening to tip competitive races towards Democrats.

Kari Lake, the GOP candidate for the US Senate seat, has faced criticism for her inconsistent stance on abortion. Lake previously praised the ban, calling it a "great law" during her 2022 gubernatorial campaign. However, she now opposes it, stating that she is against federal abortion bans and federal funding for abortions. Lake vows to pursue pro-family policies to help people choose to be parents.

The 1864 ban has been at the center of Arizona politics and Lake's campaigns for the last two election cycles. Democrats have been pushing to repeal the ban since 2019, and the Arizona Supreme Court's April 9 decision to revive it set off weeks of tense votes in the legislature. The repeal won't go into effect until 90 days after the legislature adjourns later this year, which means the ban could still go into effect as soon as June 27 for a few weeks or months.

As the battle over abortion rights continues in Arizona, the proposed Arizona Abortion Access Act ballot measure aims to establish protections for the procedure up to 24 weeks. With only 0.9% of abortions occurring after 20 weeks and ongoing debates over exemptions and fetal viability, the initiative is set to be a key issue in the 2024 election cycle.

Key Takeaways

  • Arizona's Abortion Access Act aims to establish a fundamental right to abortion up to 24 weeks.
  • Only 0.9% of US abortions in 2021 occurred after 20 weeks, according to the CDC.
  • The initiative could set a precedent for abortion laws in the US and influence similar debates in other states.
  • Opponents argue the exemptions in the initiative are too broad, allowing for abortions at any point in pregnancy.
  • The outcome of the ballot measure could impact the 2024 election cycle and reproductive rights in Arizona.