Gov. Jan Brewer Restricts Preventive Women’s Health Care in Arizona
Contact: Planned Parenthood Action Fund Media Office, 212-261-4433
Planned Parenthood Calls for a Veto on Second Measure Blocking Birth Control, and Points to Frightening Sign of Mitt Romney’s National Policies
New York – Planned Parenthood condemned Arizona Governor Jan Brewer for signing a bill that could dramatically reduce thousands of women’s access to preventive care – including birth control – and she is poised to pass another. Given his same far right views on preventive women’s health care and Governor Jan Brewer’s early endorsement of his candidacy, Planned Parenthood sees these actions as dangerous signs of the ways that Mitt Romney would seek to restrict women’s health care on a national level.
While speaking at a political fundraiser Friday evening, Gov. Brewer signed a bill that could eliminate access to a wide range of preventive health care for thousands of women at Planned Parenthood Arizona’s nonprofit health centers. A bill on Governor Brewer’s desk allows employers to discriminate against women by refusing to cover their birth control when other prescriptions are covered.
“Governor Brewer has shown that what she cares about is politics, but we will not let politics interfere with the health care that nearly three million people rely on Planned Parenthood for every year. In every state that has tried this, Planned Parenthood is still going strong because millions of women rely on us for cancer screenings, birth control, and well-woman exams.” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “Mitt Romney has made it clear he also cares more about politics than women’s health when he vowed to end the federal family planning program that provides preventive health care for more than five million people a year, and to strip all federal support for Planned Parenthood.”
Planned Parenthood Arizona provides essential lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, breast health services, Pap tests, and testing and treatment of STDs to tens of thousands of Arizonans. The new law could result in the elimination of all Medicaid funding for patients cared for at Planned Parenthood’s nonprofit health centers, which would directly affect 4,000 patients.
Like Governor Brewer, Mitt Romney opposes funding for women’s health centers. In fact, at a debate in Mesa, Arizona, Romney specifically attacked Rick Santorum for voting to fund Planned Parenthood.
A bill awaiting Governor Brewer’s signature undermines women’s access to affordable birth control by repealing Arizona’s existing contraceptive equity law. Arizona’s contraceptive equity law was a Republican-sponsored proposal with bipartisan support signed in 2002 by former Governor Jane Hull, a Catholic and Republican.
“As a trusted health care provider to one in five women, Planned Parenthood believes women deserve access to affordable birth control and preventive care no matter where they work,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “We call on Governor Brewer to veto this bill. No woman should fear losing her job for making personal decisions about her health and well-being.”
Both Jan Brewer and Mitt Romney’s views are outside the mainstream of most Americans. Americans overwhelmingly support coverage of birth control and funding for Planned Parenthood. A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed that, by a 20-point margin, Americans favor the federal government requiring employers to offer free birth control coverage as part of their health insurance benefit plans. Additionally, a February 2012 National Journal showed that more than two-thirds of Americans – 69 percent – oppose cutting funding to Planned Parenthood.
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Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.