May 6, 2012

Arizona Passes Law Cutting Planned Parenthood Funding

On Friday, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law a bill that will prohibit Planned Parenthood from receiving tax money from the state, as well as from any city or county within its borders.

The legislation is known as HB 2800 or the "Whole Woman's Health Funding Priority Act", and according to Dalina Castellanos of the Los Angeles Times, it "tightens existing state regulations and prevents any government entity -- city, county or state -- from giving money to an organization that offers family planning."

Arizona becomes the seventh state to pass such a law, though three of those states (Indiana, Kansas, and North Carolina) are being challenged in court over the legislation, Reuters reporter David Schwartz wrote on Saturday. While the state does not directly use tax money for abortions, supporters of the bill say that HB 2800 will ensure that those funds will not be funneled through organizations such as Planned Parenthood to fund abortions, he added.

"This is a common sense law that tightens existing state regulations and closes loopholes in order to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to fund abortions, whether directly or indirectly,” Governor Brewer said in a statement. “By signing this measure into law, I stand with the majority of Americans who oppose the use of taxpayer funds for abortion."

“Planned Parenthood´s abortion-centered business model does not need or deserve taxpayer dollars,” said Representative Marilyn Musgrave, Vice President of Government Affairs for SBA List, an organization working to elect anti-abortion political candidate, said in a separate statement. “Arizona is leading the charge to protect taxpayers and women from Planned Parenthood and the violence of abortion.”

Following the bill's passing, Planned Parenthood Arizona published a press release condemning the legislation, arguing that it could prevent the organization's health centers from providing other health services, including cancer screenings, breast health services, pap tests, and STD treatments to more than 65,000 residents of the state.

They said it was "unfortunate“¦ that lawmakers are ignoring the fact that Planned Parenthood´s nonprofit health centers in Arizona have been an important part of the health care network in the state for more than 75 years."

“Planned Parenthood works every day to keep women healthy.  In fact, one in five women in America has turned to one of Planned Parenthood´s nonprofit health centers for professional, nonjudgmental and confidential care at some point in her life,” Bryan Howard, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona, said.  “Women who come to Planned Parenthood aren´t making a political statement; they are coming to get health care they need. We call on Governor Brewer to reject this dangerous bill inserting politics into health care."


On the Net: