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Thu Jul 7, 2022, 07:34 PM

Abortion rights won't be on the Arizona ballot in November as signature drive comes up short

An effort to ensure abortion rights in Arizona failed to get enough signatures to get on the November ballot, but supporters say they've tapped into a vein of voter activism that could fuel a similar effort in 2024.

The Right to Reproductive Freedom Act would have left matters from birth control to abortion in the hands of women and their doctors, and would have barred any government efforts to penalize or restrict any licensed medical professional who provide services involving reproductive rights.

The ballot drive sprang up in the aftermath of the leak in early May of a draft U.S. Supreme Court ruling on abortion. By mid-May, the petition drive was launched to collect the minimum 356,467 signatures needed to qualify for the Nov. 8 ballot. On Thursday's deadline to submit signatures, the committee pressing the ballot initiative said it had fallen short of that goal, saying it had gathered more than 175,000 signatures in 61 days.

"This is the largest volunteer-driven ballot measure campaign in the history of our state and we are only just beginning," Dr. Victoria Fewell said of the campaigns more than 3,000 volunteers. "This may have started from a moment, but it is growing into a lasting statewide movement."


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