PHOENIX – Gov. Katie Hobbs added her name to a petition Tuesday to put abortion rights on the 2024 ballot in an effort to make it a constitutional right in Arizona.
Abortion regulation was returned to the states on June 24, 2022, after Roe v. Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Hobbs said at a news conference that Arizonans “need to understand exactly what’s at stake when pregnant women can’t get the health care they need.”
“Our ability to access abortion care, miscarriage care, pregnancy care and even contraception is under indictment,” Hobbs said. “In Arizona, we are just one bad court decision away from an 1864 abortion ban that carries prison time for doctors and provides no exceptions for rape or incest.”
Hobbs was referring to a case in which the Arizona Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on Dec. 12. The case could determine if Arizona’s 1864 law regarding abortion should be reinstated. The law would bar doctors from performing abortions in all cases, except for when a patient’s life is in danger. Arizona currently bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Hobbs said during the news conference that this is an issue about personal freedoms over political affiliation.
“We have a coalition of folks that you might not expect to see together: Republicans, independents and Democrats. But we all agree that the decision to have an abortion should be left to a woman and her doctor, not the government and politicians,” Hobbs said.
Hobbs voiced frustrations that “my daughter has fewer rights than I did her at her age some 30 years ago.”
Hobbs’ daughter, Hannah Goodman, 21, attended the news conference and signed the petition.
“This felt like it was something that could actually lead to real change and that was really powerful,” Goodman said.
The petition requires nearly 384,000 signatures in order for it to get on the ballot in 2024.