The issue of abortion belongs in the hands of Arizona voters. Not lawmakers or judges

Opinion: The issue of abortion is too big for lawmakers or judges. It belongs in the hands of voters. This initiative will put it there.

By EJ Montini | Arizona Republic

It’s a question too big to be answered by a handful of U.S. Supreme Court justices.

It’s a question too big to be decided by a slim Republican majority in the Arizona Legislature.

It’s a question that should be decided by … us.

All of us.

Regular citizens.

Republicans. Democrats. Independents. And all the rest of us.

And, hopefully, we’ll get that chance.

A simple four-paragraph initiative

A group calling itself Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom submitted an application at the state Secretary of State’s Office that would give women in Arizona autonomy over their own bodies.

The simple, easy-to-understand initiative proposal reads in part, “Neither the state nor any political subdivision shall restrict, penalize, frustrate or otherwise interfere with the exercise of the right to reproductive freedom, including: any individual’s access to contraception: pre-viability medical and surgical termination or pregnancy; or medical and surgical termination of pregnancy when necessary to preserve the individual’s health or life.”

Effort underway:Ballot measure would make abortion a constitutional right

It doesn’t mean that all abortion restrictions would go away.

The proposal is tied to viability and is meant, more than anything, to keep the most radical elements of the anti-abortion movement from banning abortion completely and compelling even the victims of rape or incest from being forced to carry the pregnancy to term.

Group faces huge hurdles and ugly challenges

In order to get the proposal on the ballot the group will need to submit 356,467 valid voter signatures by July 7.

That is the first immense hurdle.

Should the initiative’s supporters succeed, the next great obstacle will be dealing with a hugely well-funded disinformation campaign that is guaranteed to follow.


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