Arizona Cuts Planned Parenthood Funding

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- Planned Parenthood of Arizona says preventive health care for thousands of women could be in jeopardy. This comes after Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill into law blocking funding to Arizona's largest abortion provider.    

Planned Parenthood has 14 locations around the state serving some 40,000 patients every year. They say one in five women come to them for abortion services and as a result lawmakers opposed to abortion are also opposed to funding Planned Parenthood.
“It's another assault on Planned Parenthood being there for women but it's not going to be a successful one,” said Bryan Howard, CEO of Planned Parenthood.
House Bill 2800 will ban the state from using public money to contract with an organization that includes abortions in its services.
“What we are seeing is an assault on women making their own decisions about health care whether it's abortion or health care," Howard added.
He says House Bill 2800 primarily affects 4,000 women living below the federal poverty level and on AHCCCS.
“It makes it harder for women to access birth control, hard for women to access cancer screening and abortion care,” said Howard.
But the Center for Arizona Policy, which backed the bill, disagrees.
“The grants will be made to community health centers. There are many providers out there providing these services able to pick up the slack,” said Cathy Herrod.
The goals here begin to cut out back door abortion funding.
“Again any money goes to Planned Parenthood for so called health services frees up a dollar to underwrite their abortion services," Herrod noted.
Still Planned Parenthood says they intend to fight for those dollars.
“We're looking at options of going to court, also looking at raising private funds to make care affordable and accessible,” said Howard. “We’ve been around 78 years, weathered a lot of opposition and made a lot of progress.”
Arizona's law banning this funding does not take effect until August and while it is controversial it is also a piece of legislation that many other states are considering.