Governor Signs Repeal of the Near Total Ban on Abortion Care: AzPHA’s Draft Voter Initiative Argument

You undoubtedly know that both the legislature narrowly passed and the governor signed a bill repealing the near total abortion ban that was originally passed during the first territorial legislature in 1864.  It’s unclear when the repeal will actually take effect – most likely around October 1 (90 days after the end of the legislative session).

Meanwhile, as a result of the state Supreme Court’s decision awhile back, that very same territorial law is set to take effect at the end of June, meaning – unless something changes – there will be virtually no abortion care in Arizona during July, August and September. Beginning in October that care would be restored up to 15 weeks gestation.

Meanwhile, folks working on the Arizona Right to Abortion Initiative continue to be busy collecting signatures to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would place the right to abortion care in the state constitution.

AZPHA has a series of Resolutions in place (going back decades) AzPHA Resolutions on Women’s Reproductive Rights Go Back to 1938 and AZPHA will be supporting the Act.

Every cycle the Arizona Secretary of State generates a publicity pamphlet for the ballot to support voter education which is mailed to registered voters ahead of the general election. The pamphlet includes arguments in support of and against citizens’ initiatives and legislative referrals.

The publicity pamphlet is a key educational resource for voters to use while navigating the ballot, or before going to the polls.

AZPHA has a history of including arguments for and against ballot propositions focusing on the good and bad public health impacts that could occur to help inform voters. Last cycle AZPHA placed arguments for or against 4 of the 10 ballot propositions.

We’re working on arguments for up to 5 of the ballot measures that’ll be on the ballot – including the Arizona Right to Abortion Initiative. Below is a working draft of what we’ll be including in the voter guide: 


Vote For Sexual & Reproductive Health Fairness

Vote Yes on Proposition xxx

We urge you to vote Yes on Proposition xxx because it helps ensure sexual and reproductive fairness for all Arizonans.

Arizona’s record of ensuring fair reproductive health policy equality is checkered. You’re no doubt familiar with the law from 1864 that criminalized abortion care has been repealed (for now).

While the Arizona Public Health Association is grateful for the sensible repeal of that territorial-era law, we also know a similar restriction could be revived at any time by the state legislature.

In fact, a resurrection of that territorial era abortion ban may be just a couple of legislative sessions away…  that is unless we change the Arizona State Constitution to protect abortion care by voting YES on the Arizona Right to Abortion Initiative (Proposition xxx).

A large body of published evidence shows policy restrictions on sexual & reproductive health care cause health inequality and harm public health outcomes. Public health evidence shows that unreasonable restrictions on access to abortion negatively affect the provision of care, the availability of patient-centered services and reproductive autonomy.

Policy solutions that center and promote sexual and reproductive health equality like Proposition XXX are essential for building fair reproductive health care.

We hope you’ll join us by voting YES on Proposition XXX & continue to help us strive for other evidence-based reproductive freedoms like:

  • Ensuring sexual & reproductive health care programs provide person-centered care;
  • Requiring all health insurance plans and programs to provide comprehensive coverage for all contraceptive options;
  • Ensuring patients have multiple options for accessing reproductive health care;
  • Strengthening federal Title X Family Planning; and
  • Removing restrictions that silo abortion care.

Access to abortion care with reasonable restrictions is also a core element in reproductive care fairness.

Please vote YES on Proposition xxx

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