Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law late Friday a
bill that bans the state or any local government from using public money
to contract with an organization that includes abortions in its
The governor's signature on House Bill 2800 comes on the heels of her
approval last month of a bill that bans abortions after 20 weeks.
Brewer signed the measure while speaking at a reception for the Susan
B. Anthony List, a group devoted to helping elect anti-abortion
officials to public office.
"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 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."
HB 2800, sponsored by Rep. Justin Olson, R-Mesa, passed through the Legislature with Republican support.
The law aims to prevent contracts with or grants to any group that
perform abortions that do not meet the federal requirements under Title
19 of the Social Security Act, which reimburses in cases of rape, incest
or life endangerment. It also prioritizes how public money for family
planning will be distributed -- such as to state-owned health-care
centers and rural hospitals.
The law would not impact money that passes through the state
Department of Health Services because the state does not provide money
for family planning, an agency spokeswoman has said.
Planned Parenthood of Arizona officials have said the bill targets
them and is intended to impact non-abortion services they provide, such
as cancer screenings, birth control and well-woman exams. Fewer than one
in 10 women seek abortion services from Planned Parenthood of Arizona,
according to the organization.
"I think it's also instructive that the place that the governor would
sign this is at a political rally -- it might be an elegant political
rally, but it is a 100 percent political event, and that speaks volumes
about what this legislation was about from day one," said Bryan Howard,
president of Planned Parenthood of Arizona. "But while the impetus for
the governor is political, and for the sponsors it's political, the
impact is on health care for poor Arizonans, and that is a terrible,
Planned Parenthood officials said the bill essentially would no
longer allow them or other groups that also provide abortions to seek
reimbursement from the state for non-abortion services provided to
residents enrolled in the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System,
the state's Medicaid program.
However, a spokeswoman for AHCCCS told The Republic late
last month it is doubtful the bill would affect its services because the
program sends public dollars to private providers, who can choose which
partners to work with. The spokeswoman said the agency is still
analyzing the bill's potential effects.
Democrats have decried the proposal as an attack not only on Planned
Parenthood, but also on low-income women. Anti-abortion advocates,
meanwhile, have cheered the bill.
Brewer's office said Kansas, North Carolina and Texas have enacted
legislation similar to HB 2800. Indiana, New Jersey and Wisconsin have
used their budget processes to bar public funding for abortion
Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/2012/05/04/20120504arizona-abortion-services-bill-signed-into-law.html#ixzz1u7qIk4dV
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