‘Terrified of losing their rights’: abortion is a leading issue for Arizona’s Latino voters

Last Updated: June 22, 2024By

Abortion Rights in Arizona: A Crucial Issue for Latino Voters

image

Raquel Terán, a candidate for Congress in Arizona and former leader of the state’s Democratic party, has faced advice throughout her political journey to tread lightly on the topic of abortion.

“People always told me, ‘Be careful bringing up abortion in a Latino district,'” shared Terán, reflecting on the guidance she’s received.

Traditionally, it was believed that many Latino voters, often religious, were opposed to abortion rights. However, Terán’s personal experience challenges this notion. “I attend mass and firmly support a woman’s right to choose,” she affirmed.

In this election cycle, the issue of abortion is shaping up to be more decisive than ever among Latino voters in Arizona. Longtime political strategists, progressive community organizers, and candidates like Terán observe its compelling influence, even among those disenchanted with politics.

image

“For many voters, both regular and occasional, abortion has become a top concern because they fear losing their rights,” explained Terán. “That fear is driving a lot of the engagement we’re seeing.”

The reinstatement of a harsh abortion law reminiscent of the Civil War era by Arizona’s supreme court earlier this year has sparked significant support for a November ballot initiative aimed at safeguarding abortion rights. Although the law was repealed in May, it remains in effect until the end of June, pending replacement with a 15-week abortion ban.

“We’ve had people literally running out of their houses to sign our petition,” said Alejandra Gomez, executive director of the progressive group Lucha, which has been rallying support for the initiative. “That level of urgency is unprecedented for us.”

Despite already gathering enough signatures in April, organizers continue their efforts, anticipating legal challenges and audits from Republican opponents seeking to invalidate the initiative.

image

On a scorching late-May afternoon, amidst triple-digit temperatures in metro Phoenix, thousands of volunteers fanned out across coffee shops, libraries, and local breweries to collect more signatures. Even canvassers for Democratic candidates found themselves discussing Abortion Access for All alongside their usual campaign materials.

The enthusiasm surrounding the initiative has surprised seasoned political operatives in Arizona. Views on abortion within Latino communities here vary widely, particularly across different generations, noted Enrique Davis Mazlum, Arizona state director for UnidosUS.

One thing often overlooked in polls is that many voters, even if personally opposed to abortion, support its availability. “They may be Catholic and not choose abortion themselves, but they don’t want the government making that choice for them,” Davis Mazlum emphasized.

Recent polls show increasing support among Latino voters nationwide for abortion access. According to Pew Research Center surveys, support among Hispanic voters has risen from around 47% in 2007-2008 to about 60% in 2022, following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.

image

In Arizona, a 2022 UnidosUS and Mi Familia Vota poll found that 80% of Latino voters agreed or somewhat agreed that abortion should remain legal, regardless of their personal beliefs.

The poll, released shortly after the Roe v. Wade decision, captured a moment of heightened concern over reproductive rights. The resurgence of the 1864 near-total abortion ban earlier in the year has only intensified these sentiments. “It’s clear this issue is front and center for many voters, especially Latino voters,” noted Stella Rouse, director of the Hispanic Research Center at Arizona State University.

For Junelle Cavero Harnal, a Democrat representing south Phoenix in the state House of Representatives, abortion is a daily topic among her constituents, who are predominantly people of color, including a significant Latino population.

Campaigning for re-election in her diverse district, Cavero Harnal finds herself discussing abortion alongside other pressing issues like the cost of living and international conflicts. “Abortion is a major concern,” she affirmed, recounting a recent evening of door-to-door canvassing where constituents voiced their worries.

“For my daughters and granddaughter, this issue hits home,” shared one woman after opening her door to Cavero Harnal, highlighting personal stakes in the debate.

The reinstatement of the 1864 abortion ban came as a shock to Sophia Mendoza, 17, who discussed it with friends and family, evoking strong emotions about personal rights and freedoms.

As organizers rally voter anger into action for November, there’s hope that turnout will reflect the urgency felt by many. “When we explain that President Biden supports abortion access, it changes the conversation,” noted Cavero Harnal, highlighting a potential boost for Democratic support.

Biden’s campaign has recognized the issue’s importance, especially among Latino men, launching ads in Arizona and Nevada featuring veterans like Cesar Carreon expressing support for Biden’s stance on abortion rights.

Democrats and

latest video

news via inbox

Nulla turp dis cursus. Integer liberos  euismod pretium faucibua

Leave A Comment