Arizona abortion rights organizers in the final hours of petition deadline

KOLD News 6-6:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 8:57 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Petition signing and drop-off locations have closed. Now, abortion rights organizers must count and verify signatures before heading to Phoenix for the Secretary of State’s office to verify those signatures.

“We have boxes full is the best thing that I can say. And we are working hard to make sure we are counting every last one,” Amy Fitch-Heacock with Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom said.

She said her team worked through the night and plans to do the same thing tonight all before the deadline of getting the petitions up to Phoenix.

“Tomorrow morning, we load up all of these boxes. We have an appointment with the Secretary of State’s office tomorrow afternoon. We will turn in our boxes of petitions and then their job begins,” she said.

The group is aiming to give Arizonans the right to choose whether abortion should be legal in the state. To put the constitutional amendment on the ballot, they need 356,000 signatures.

Pro-life advocates said they aren’t worried about the petition.

“We feel confident that there are many and plenty of pro-life voters that believe that innocent lives should be protected,” said Lucy Smith,the Director of Pro Love Tucson.

She added that her team will continue to advocate on sidewalks outside of clinics, and promote other options than abortion.

She also mentioned while she is happy abortions are not currently being performed in the state, her goal is to continue to refer women to pregnancy centers and advocate for other options like adoption.

“The child is an innocent life from the moment of conception no matter what the situation of conception. So, we are there to be a support, and encouragement, a help, tangible help, compassionate help, to those women and whatever situation that they are in,” Smith explained.

From here, the Secretary of State’s office will also work to verify signatures and will announce in about a week or so whether the initiative will be on the November ballot.

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