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Pro-choice group wants Arizona voters to decide on abortion rights

Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom has filed a ballot initiative application. If it gets enough signatures, Arizona voters will decide on abortion rights.

PHOENIX — A pro-abortion rights group wants Arizona voters to decide if abortion should be legal in the state. The initiative comes in the wake of the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion which would overturn Roe v. Wade.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it would trigger an abortion ban in Arizona due to an existing law outlawing the procedure.

RELATED: What will happen in Arizona if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade?

The ballot initiative application, organized by Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom, was filed on Monday and advocates have until July 7 to gather 356,467 signatures. 

Organizers tell 12 News they are working with multiple paid signature-gathering firms and coordinating a volunteer effort to make that happen.

If they gather the signatures, the measure would need the support of the majority of Arizona voters. If passed, it would make abortion a constitutional right in the state.

RELATED: Starbucks will cover travel for workers seeking abortions

“I really value the care that we provide for women in Arizona," said Phoenix-based Dr. Nichole Mahnert. “I'm just I'm worried that this is the start to the government interfering with private matters that happen between official physician and a patient.”

Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy which advocates for anti-abortion policies says the measure is too broad. 

It states abortions would be allowed before a fetus is viable but does not give a specific number of weeks. Instead, it says viability would be determined by "good-faith medical judgment of a qualified, licensed healthcare professional."

“We will look at all options to stop this measure," Herrod said. “It's an extreme measure that would add enshrine abortion rights in our state constitution. It doesn't reflect where the majority of Arizonans are at.”

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