Gov. Katie Hobbs signs petition to add abortion rights to 2024 ballot

Gov. Katie Hobbs speaks at a news conference on Nov. 28, 2023, at Wesley Bolin Plaza in Phoenix, where she signed a petition to add abortion rights to the 2024 ballot. (Photo by Kiersten Edgett/Cronkite News)

Gov. Katie Hobbs adds her name to a petition to add abortion rights to the 2024 ballot, during a news conference on Nov. 28, 2023, at Wesley Bolin Plaza in Phoenix. (Photo by Kiersten Edgett/Cronkite News)

A news conference attendee takes a video of Gov. Katie Hobbs at Wesley Bolin Plaza outside the Capitol in Phoenix, on Nov. 28, 2023. (Photo by Kiersten Edgett/Cronkite News)

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.

(Video by Aaron Gonzalez/Cronkite News)
Kiersten Edgett(they/them/theirs)
News Visual Journalist, Phoenix

Kiersten Edgett expects to graduate in December 2023 with a master’s degree in journalism. Edgett works as a research aide for ASU’s Media Enterprise and is a DJ for Blaze Radio.

Aaron Michael Gonzalez ah-run mai-kul gon-za-lez (he/him/his)
Sports Broadcast Reporter, Phoenix

Aaron Michael Gonzalez expects to graduate in December 2023 with a master’s degree in sports journalism. Gonzalez graduated from New Mexico State University in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies with an emphasis in broadcasting. Gonzalez interned with KVIA-TV in El Paso, Texas.