Federal Judge Overturns Arizona Law Defunding Planned Parenthood

By:  Dave Bohon
02/13/2013
       
Federal Judge Overturns Arizona Law Defunding Planned Parenthood

A federal judge has overturned Arizona's law defunding Planned Parenthood, ruling that women receiving Medicaid have the right to choose the medical provider they want to use for so-called family planning services.

A federal judge has overturned Arizona's law defunding Planned Parenthood, ruling that women receiving Medicaid have the right to choose the medical provider they want to use for so-called family planning services. In his 11-page ruling shooting down the measure duly passed by the state's elected lawmakers, federal Judge Neil Wake said that there was no reason to believe the abortion giant was not qualified to provide non-abortion “family planning” services covered under the federal medical assistance program, and that the law appeared to be an attempt by Arizona legislators to disqualify Planned Parenthood from state and federal funding.

The Whole Woman’s Health Funding Priority Act (H.B. 2800), signed into law May 4 by pro-life Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, was based on model legislation developed by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List and Alliance Defending Freedom, and was designed to steer government funding away from abortion businesses such as Planned Parenthood to medical providers that concentrate on comprehensive health care for women. The measure prohibited state or any local governments from using public money to contract with organizations that provide abortions.

During a signing ceremony Gov. Brewer called the measure 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. By signing this measure into law, I stand with the majority of Americans who oppose the use of taxpayer funds for abortion.”

But as it has in every state that has taken away its funding, Planned Parenthood fought back against the bill, insisting that it would deprive women of choice in their healthcare decisions and would especially impact low-income women. “What we are seeing is an assault on women making their own decisions about health care, whether it’s abortion or health care,” Arizona Planned Parenthood CEO Bryan Howard complained of the new measure. “It makes it harder for women to access birth control, hard for women to access cancer screening and abortion care.” He claimed that the lost revenue for Planned Parenthood would hurt thousands of Arizona women living below the poverty level.

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