Arizona abortion ballot measure locks in more than twice the number of signatures needed

by Robert Gundran

The Copper Courier

I was not expecting to see a turnout as large as this one in Arizona as mentioned below in The Copper Courier.

In April, the Arizona Supreme Court upheld an 1864 law, which carries with it a mandatory prison sentence for doctors who provide an abortion for any reason other than saving a woman’s life. The 1864 law replaces the 15-week gestational ban passed in 2022. Two of the deciding justices are up for election this November.

From the count of signatures collected, it appears the right to abortion will be on the November 2024 ballot.


The Arizona for Abortion Access campaign brought in the most signatures for a citizen-led ballot initiative in state history.

Abortion is one step closer to being constitutionally protected in Arizona after the Arizona for Abortion Access campaign turned in more than 800,000 signatures—well over double the amount needed—supporting a ballot initiative to protect the right to abortion in the state. The petitions were delivered to the Arizona Secretary of State’s office in Phoenix on July 3.

The signatures came from Arizonans who support including a ballot measure in the general election. If just 383,923 of those signatures are verified as registered Arizona voters, we’ll see the “Arizona Abortion Access Act” on our ballots this November.

What would the ballot measure do?

If a majority of voters say yes to the “Arizona Abortion Access Act” in November, an amendment will be added to the state constitution establishing a fundamental right to abortion health care in the state.

Since the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, similar ballot measures have been introduced by citizens in California, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Vermont, and Ohio. Voters have overwhelmingly passed those measures in every state.

Dawn Penich, spokeswoman for the Arizona for Abortion Access campaign, said over 7,000 volunteers gathered the 823,685 signatures—the most for a citizen-led ballot initiative in state history.

Supporters of the ballot measure helped unload hundreds of boxes of petitions just outside of Secretary of State Adrian Fontes’ office.

“Today is an important day. It’s an exercise of the First Amendment of the Constitution,” Fontes said. “These citizens have gathered and they’re petitioning for the redress of grievances.”

Arizona for Abortion Access aimed to collect double the needed signatures because of the signature challenge process, which allows opponents to a ballot measure to get signatures thrown out. If enough signatures are thrown out, the measure is tossed from the ballot.

Currently, Arizona has a 15-week ban on abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest. The Arizona Supreme Court also ruled in favor of an 1864 total abortion ban. The ban was later repealed by all Democrats and five Republicans in the state House of Representatives and state Senate.

The Arizona Abortion Access Act would restore abortion access up to the point of fetal viability, allow abortions at any point if needed to protect the health of the patient, and prohibit future laws that would penalize anyone helping someone to access an abortion.