Jan Brewer Gives the Ax to Planned Parenthood Funding

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Abortion still seems to be a top priority for Governor Jan Brewer and the Legislature, as the governor announced the signing of yet another bill that's not making Planned Parenthood happy at all.

Late last week, the governor signed into law House Bill 2800, which, as described in the broadest sense by the Governor's Office, "[P]rioritizes the distribution of public family-planning funds to healthcare entities that provide comprehensive care for women."

As both Brewer and Planned Parenthood acknowledge, it's about abortion.

"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," Brewer says 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."

Current Arizona law already prevents public coin from being used for abortions, but the language in this bill prevents the federal money delegated to Arizona from going to places where abortions are performed.

To the anti-abortion crowd, it probably sounds like a win.

If you ask Planned Parenthood, though, it's politics as usual going on at the Capitol.

According to Planned Parenthood, "recent polling shows 78 percent of Arizonans favor state-funded family-planning services for low-income women, including sex education and counseling services, women's health services, and birth control."

Those happen to be services Planned Parenthood provides, but that doesn't matter much in the bill Brewer signed.

"It is unfortunate that lawmakers continue to put ideology and politics before the welfare of Arizonans," Planned Parenthood of Arizona CEO Bryan Howard says. "Women and men who come to Planned Parenthood aren't making a political statement. They are coming to get the healthcare they need."

As the governor and Capitol reporter Howie Fischer point out, a few other states already have passed similar legislation. A federal judge blocked the move in Texas.

Supporters of the bill contend it's not about cutting off money for preventative care to Planned Parenthood but rather prioritizing money to places that provide more "comprehensive" services.

Center for Arizona Policy's Cathi Herrod plays to that in one of her group's announcements, but she also adds the abortion point that seems to be what this bill's all about.

"[Planned Parenthood] claim[s] they do not use taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions," she says. "Yet one taxpayer dollar that goes to Planned Parenthood for anything frees up another dollar to fund their abortion operation. Any funding to Planned Parenthood supports abortions."

The bottom line, at least according to Planned Parenthood: "Thousands could be forced to go without care."

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.