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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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Biden administration moves to protect Alaska wilderness; opening statements and first witness in NY trial; SCOTUS hears Starbucks case, with implications for unions on the line; rural North Carolina town gets pathway to home ownership.

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The Supreme Court weighs cities' ability to manage a growing homelessness crisis, anti-Israeli protests spread to college campuses nationwide, and more states consider legislation to ban firearms at voting sites and ballot drop boxes.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

AZ pro-choice advocates secure signatures for 2024 ballot measure

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Wednesday, April 3, 2024   

Pro-choice advocates in Arizona said they have surpassed the threshold of required signatures to put a measure on the November ballot which would add abortion protections to the state Constitution.

Chris Love, spokesperson for the group Arizona for Abortion Access, said more than 500,000 signatures from voters in favor of the amendment have been collected, significantly higher than the almost 384,000 needed.

Love contended it speaks to how important reproductive freedom is to Arizonans.

"In 2024, obviously all eyes will be on Arizona as a swing state," Love pointed out. "We're using the moment to really educate as many people as we can, in Arizona and across the country, about why we're attempting to protect abortion in our state Constitution."

The group said it plans to continue collecting signatures until the state's July 3 deadline. Democrats around the country view protecting abortion access as a key issue heading into 2024, which will be especially important in the Grand Canyon State, as President Joe Biden won Arizona by a slim majority in 2020.

Another group, named "It Goes Too Far," opposes the amendment, contending it would eliminate safeguards and safety standards at abortion clinics.

Love noted Arizona medical professionals can perform abortions up to 15 weeks of gestation, with only an exception to save the life of a pregnant person. She added her organization and many around the state await a decision from the Arizona Supreme Court on a case which could enforce a total abortion ban. She stressed regardless of the outcome, it is important to let Arizona voters decide this issue.

"Protecting abortion isn't a Democratic issue or a Republican issue," Love asserted. "It's an Arizona issue and the vast majority of Arizona voters from across the political spectrum trust that we should be free to make our own personal, medical decisions without government interference."

Love added her group expects a robust opposition campaign and even legal challenges to the signatures they have collected and feels confident they have built what she termed a "sustainable and successful" campaign.


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