Pro-Abortion Groups File Proposed AZ Amendment Enabling ‘Professionals’ to Subjectively Authorize Abortion Until Birth

Craig Bannister | August 17, 2023
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A cohort of pro-abortion groups have filed a proposed ballot measure in Arizona to amend the state’s constitution in a way that would enable women to legally obtain abortions with ease – right up to the point of the child’s birth.

On August 8, Arizona for Abortion Access filed an “Application for Serial Number Initiative Petition” with the Arizona’s secretary of state’s office to obtain an official serial number for a petition it seeks to launch in an effort to put its “Arizona Abortion Access Act” measure on the ballot of the next general election.

Once posted, the petition needs to obtain nearly 384,000 signatures (15% of the state’s voters) by July 3, 2024 in order to place the measure on the November 2024 ballot. Then, it would need the approval of only a simple majority of voters in order to officially amend Arizona’s constitution.

Due to its extremely ambiguous phrasing, the proposed text of the Arizona Abortion Access Act would allow virtually unrestricted abortions, including late-term abortions, based on subjectively-determined criteria.

For example, the amendment would allow a single health care “professional” (not a licensed doctor?) to determine whether an unborn child is “viable” – as well as to decide whether a woman is entitled to an abortion based on her (highly subjective) “mental health” needs. It also redefines viability as the ability to survive outside the womb, without extraordinary medical measures.

The determination of viability is left to a single health-care professional, with no requirement for the perceived threat to the mother's mental health to be severe. In fact, the amendment explicitly states that it should be "liberally" interpreted to further establish the right to abortion.

Curiously, the summary of the proposed amendment filed with the state, which would presumably be posted to introduce the petition, does not say the Act provides the right to an abortion based on “mental” health concerns. It cites only the “life or health of the pregnant individual.”

However, the actual text of the Arizona Abortion Access Act specifically spells out the right to an abortion to protect the “life or physical or mental health” of the woman seeking to terminate her unborn child’s life.

Thus, healthy unborn babies could be legally killed through the ninth month of pregnancy, based on opinion.

Currently, Arizona law allows abortions during the first 15 weeks of pregnancy, with an exception after that to protect the life or physical health of the mother.

The proposed amendment is being pushed by organizations like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, which have a self-serving interest in expanding access to abortion:

  • Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona
  • Healthcare Rising Arizona
  • ACLU of Arizona
  • NARAL Arizona
  • Affirm Sexual and Reproductive Health
  • Arizona List


While the amendment requires the State of Arizona to defend the amendment against any court challenges, it also appears to enable the PAC sponsoring it to compel, or intervene in, any such defense:

“The political action committee that sponsored this measure (or its designee) shall have standing to initiate or intervene in any action or proceeding to defend this measure.”

Arizona’s state legislative staff is expected to conduct a technical review of the proposed amendment’s language in the coming weeks – but, the pro-abortion coalition’s signature-gathering campaign won’t start until September, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona Senior Adviser Chris Love has told The Washington Post.