Fitch to Challenge Justine Wadsack LD-17 State Senate

VIA SBINSIDER| July 16th, 2023

A “reproductive rights” advocate has throw her chapeau into the political ring to challenge State Senator Republican Justine Wadsack. Democrat Amy Fitch the founder of the organization Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom, which is sponsoring a ballot initiative to make abortion a constitutional right. She sits on three other nonprofit boards that raise money for public education in Tucson and is chair of her local high school’s parent-teacher organization.

Fitch said the Dobbs decision which returned the regulation of abortion to the individual states prompted her decision. Claiming she is a personal victim of rape, her goal is to amend the Arizona Constitution to allow unlimited abortions. On the blogforarizona website she is quoted:

“I was raped, and I have a very personal connection to abortion. I lived at the time in Oklahoma, which was then and is now an abortion desert at the time. When I found out that I was pregnant, I went to a Planned Parenthood center,” she said.

“Church groups in red states with large evangelical populations will infiltrate clinics like Planned Parenthood. They will send plants in to be volunteer counselors. And I was a victim and eventually sent to a crisis pregnancy center.”

“Before I realized what was happening, I was too far along to get an abortion procedure in the state. And that hurdle I faced getting abortion care immediately incensed me. I immediately went back to my policy roots and thought, what can I do? Because I need to make sure that this never happens to anybody. Not on my watch.”

Currently, Arizona allows abortions for up to 15 weeks of pregnancy, but that is being litigated.

Fitch also wants public education to be protected from the recent expansion of Education Savings Accounts (ESA’s). Quoted on the website:

“I met with education leaders last week, and I was shocked — just seeing what the voucher expansion has done to our public schools and the worries that principals and superintendents are having now in the public school district. It’s devastating, really, the fear that they have, that they will lose education dollars,” she said.

“The problem we see with public charter schools and private schools is that the rules are different for them. A public charter school, for instance, can answer to something other than a superintendent. They often have a CFO and a CEO who have more power than the principal and vice principal running their curriculum. They also can avoid accepting certain students who might need additional help. Public charter schools also do not need to have certified teachers,” she said.

While charter schools do have loosened restrictions on hiring teachers, they must follow state guidelines for admitting students and are subject to the rules as promulgated by the Arizona Department of Education. In addition, charter schools have no ability to raises taxes in their area, as public schools do.

Wadsack also faces a challenge from her own party. She defeated sitting Senator Vince Leach in August of 2020 and he has filed paperwork to challenger her in 2022.

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