Arizona bans funding to Planned Parenthood in abortion fight

PHOENIX Sat May 5, 2012 3:19am EDT

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PHOENIX (Reuters) - Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Friday signed into law a bill banning abortion providers like Planned Parenthood from receiving money through the state, her office said in a statement.

The Republican-backed Whole Woman's Health Funding Priority Act cuts off funding for family planning and health services delivered by Planned Parenthood clinics and other organizations offering abortions.

"By signing this measure into law I stand with the majority of Americans who oppose the use of taxpayer funds for abortion," Brewer said in a statement.

Arizona joins six other states with similar laws, officials said. But three of those states -- Indiana, Kansas and North Carolina -- are facing legal challenges.

Arizona does not provide tax dollars for abortion, but backers said the law is needed to make sure that no indirect monies are funneled to organizations like Planned Parenthood that provide abortion and other health services. There were no estimates of how much money is involved.

But officials at Planned Parenthood Arizona, the state's largest abortion provider, said the law means that thousands of women in the state may now go without life-saving cancer screenings, birth control and basic health care.

"We are most concerned about the women and men who could be forced to go without health care as a result of this bill," Bryan Howard, Planned Parenthood Arizona's president and CEO, said in a prepared statement.

"We remain committed to providing Arizona communities with the professional, nonjudgmental and confidential health care they have relied on for 78 years," Howard said.

The anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List called the bill a "major victory" in its fight to bar funding of abortion providers.

"Abortion-centered businesses like Planned Parenthood do not need or deserve taxpayer dollars," Marilyn Musgrave, vice president of government affairs for the organization, said in a written statement.

While Planned Parenthood suffered a setback in Arizona, it won a temporary battle in court on Friday with Texas. A federal appeals court ruled that the organization could participate in a health program for low-income women in Texas, despite a new state rule there that bans affiliates of abortion providers.

(Editing by Tim Gaynor, Dan Whitcomb, Greg McCune and Lisa Shumaker)

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Comments (29)
sax wrote:
of course, all those states (as well as the alleged “majority of Americans”) are in the south. Couldn’t we let them finally secede and get assimilated by Mexico?

May 04, 2012 12:09am EDT  --  Report as abuse
living wrote:
This isn’t about abortion, but about birth control in general. It is a war against women, their ability to chose, their ability to control what happens to their body. Women still do not have equal rights in this country. The male centered Catholic church demonstrated this when the Vatican publicly chastised the American nuns, etc, for helping starving and poor people instead of fighting abortion and birth control.

May 05, 2012 10:57am EDT  --  Report as abuse
WonderWhyII wrote:
I like all of these crazy ultra conservative laws Arizona is coming up with, they are proving even more entertaining then deep southern states. Plus, all of their cool and forward thinking people are moving to California.

May 05, 2012 11:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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