New abortion rights amendment
A new coalition of reproductive and civil rights groups launched an effort on Tuesday to advance an amendment that would enshrine abortion rights in the Arizona Constitution, making the swing state the latest battleground in the post-Roe era.
The coalition, which is led by the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, NARAL Arizona and several other women’s health advocacy groups based in the state — will take the form of a political action committee called Arizona for Abortion Access. The groups seek to place a constitutional amendment on the November 2024 ballot.
“At a time where we have a pretty anti-abortion extremist legislature, we feel that this is the best way to protect and expand the right to abortion, and it represents a first step in protecting reproductive freedom for all Arizonans,” said Chris Love of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona.
The proposal is currently in a 30-day legislative counsel review period. The proposal would establish a constitutional right to abortions as well as provide guidance for the courts when deciding the constitutionality of any laws that would limit that right.
One major point of contention is how this proposal views fetal viability, which means the fetus would be able to live outside the womb. The standard in Arizona for fetal viability is 24 weeks, but it’s not an exact science.
“We don’t find it helpful to talk about (fetal) viability in terms of weeks. I wanna challenge the idea viability is some bright line standard. It isn’t, and we know that each pregnancy is different, so viability is kind of a moving target. So when we were determining the language, we stayed away from the weeks discussion, and really talked about putting those decisions back into the hands of pregnant people,” said Love.