Abortion

Arizona and Nebraska Face Ballot Measures on Abortion Rights Following Roe v. Wade Overturning

Main image to the post Arizona and Nebraska Face Ballot Measures on Abortion Rights Following Roe v. Wade Overturning

In Arizona, organizers submitted 823,685 signatures for a measure to add a right to abortion to the state constitution. This is far more than the 383,923 required from registered voters. Election officials have until August 22 to verify whether they have enough valid signatures and forward them to the Arizona Secretary of State's office.

The amendment would allow abortions until a fetus could survive outside the womb, typically around 24 weeks, with exceptions to save the mother's life or to protect her physical or mental health. The state would be restricted from adopting or enforcing any law prohibiting access to the procedure.

However, opponents say it goes too far and could lead to unlimited and unregulated abortions in Arizona.

In April, the Arizona Supreme Court upheld an 1864 ban that permitted abortions only to save the mother's life and provided no exceptions for survivors of rape or incest. However, the Republican-controlled Legislature voted to repeal the Civil War-era ban, and Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs signed it. Since the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that eliminated constitutional protections for abortion, the 19th-century law had been blocked.

The current 15-week ban was signed into law in 2022 and includes exceptions in cases of medical emergencies and restricts medication abortion. It also requires an ultrasound before an abortion and parental consent for minors.

In Nebraska, officials with Protect Our Rights said they managed 207,000 signatures. Organizers of SBA Pro-Life America's competing petition effort said they submitted more than 205,000 signatures.

The state requires more than 123,000 valid signatures - or 10 percent of registered voters to qualify for the ballot.

A third measure may not make the ballot. That one would ban abortion at all stages of pregnancy by deeming embryos as people.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09