Washington, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today challenged Gov. Jan Brewer and the conservative majority in the Arizona Legislature to explain their “obsession with landing the state in court as often as possible” in the wake of the state’s new law blocking public funding for Planned Parenthood, which offers services supported by 78 percent of Arizonans according to the Arizona Daily Star. Arizona law already forbids the use of public money for abortions, and bill sponsor Rep. Justin Olson (R-Mesa) has admitted the bill specifically targets Planned Parenthood.
“If thousands of health screenings, pap smears, checkups and flu shots are worth sacrificing to make a political point no one agrees with, then Gov. Brewer and Republicans in the Legislature have done their job,” Grijalva said. “If not, they’ve wasted everyone’s time, including their own.”
The new law, which is certain to go to court, mirrors a Texas law that was already struck down April 30. The law could threaten services to even more Arizona women if the Department of Health and Human Services decides to withdraw all funding for family planning services statewide, as it did in Texas after the state passed its new law. Planned Parenthood clinics had more than 112,000 patient visits in 2010, according to the group’s annual report.
“We all know women’s health has become a political issue for those who want to control their lives, put the government in the bedroom and wish away decades of family planning progress,” Grijalva said. “Gov. Brewer and her conservative friends in the Legislature have the audacity to say they favor smaller government even as they spend government time making families’ lives harder. Their war on women doesn’t make us healthier, safer or happier, but the small ideological minority they answer to doesn’t seem to care.”