Abortion rights advocates were set to meet at the Secretary of State's office on Thursday to turn in their petition signatures. They ended up canceling as they couldn't reach the required amount of 350,000 signatures. Some might consider this a loss, though they still consider their efforts a win.
"We were incredibly successful in creating a movement like there's never been seen in Arizona," says Shasta McManus, Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom.
Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom formed just 61 days ago and in that time, they collected more than 175,000 signatures from across the state.
"That is an historic amount, especially considering that this was an entire volunteer grassroots effort - that is unheard of," says McManus.
The hope was to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot, giving voters the right to choose whether abortion should be legal in Arizona. The organization ramped up efforts over the past two weeks, holding events daily, to get as many signatures as possible following the overturning of Roe v Wade.
"Unfortunately, that wasn't enough to get on the ballot," says McManus.
The movement did bring abortion rights activists together, building a strong community that openly voiced their concerns. On the other hand, anti-abortion groups are glad to know their petition effort stops here.
"We just need to focus on taking care of these women and families who need assistance and love these children that come into the world," says Lori Gray, Arizona Life Coalition.
Lori Gray, with the Arizona Life Coalition, believes there needs to be more education on abortion and life. Still, Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom says the choice should ultimately be up to the person. It's a fight they aren't giving up.
"This is just the first chapter in this movement, because we are determined to restore reproductive rights to the people of Arizona," said McManus.
Their next chance to get on the ballot is 2024.
The organization says they still need support. To learn more, visit: https://azreproductivefreedom.com/