FOR IMMEDATE RELEASE
PHOENIX--- Yesterday, Governor Brewer signed House Bill 2384 into law. This law singles out and disqualifies Planned Parenthood Arizona, a nonprofit organization that serves the working poor, from eligibility for the Arizona Working Poor Tax Credit.
The bill prohibits Arizona taxpayers from receiving the Working Poor Charitable Tax Credit if they contribute to an organization that refers for or provides abortion. By taking away this tax credit, important donations that enable access to essential safety net preventive care, such as annual gynecological exams, breast cancer screenings, and Pap smears, could be significantly reduced.
“This bill discourages generous, community-minded Arizonans from giving to Planned Parenthood, where their money is being used to provide low-income women, men and teens with essential health care,” says Bryan Howard, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona. “Abortion services are not funded by these donations; there are other funds provided by donors specifically for abortion care.”
Supporters of the bill explain that the bill will prevent tax dollars from funding abortions. As was decided by the Arizona Supreme Court in Kotterman v. Killian (1999), and upheld this week by the United States Supreme Court, tax credits are private contributions that are not owed to the state and in fact, pass directly from taxpayers to private organizations. Tax credit contributions are not public funds because they never enter the state’s control nor reach the state treasury.
Additionally, this law will gag other charitable organizations from referring their clients to Planned Parenthood Arizona for care or risk losing eligibility as well; this includes women’s shelters and domestic violence agencies.
“Ninety percent of the services Planned Parenthood Arizona provides are prevention health care and education,” says Howard. “Women and families of Arizona should not have their access to this life-saving care overlooked because of a politically-motivated bill.”
Planned Parenthood is committed to providing every woman with the full range of quality, affordable reproductive health care with a strong focus on preventive care.
In the community for 76 years, Planned Parenthood Arizona is the leading sexual health organization in Arizona. The organization provides health care, education and outreach services to more than 90,000 men, women, teens and parents annually. Planned Parenthood Arizona operates health center locations statewide in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Prescott and Yuma. For more information, please visit www.ppaz.org.