FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PHOENIX--- Upon signing HB 2416 into law, Governor Brewer and bill supporters have laid the foundation to further reduce access to abortion care in Arizona, a development that will particularly hit low-income and rural women the hardest.
Among the many impediments to abortion care imposed in this sweeping package of regulation – the second such bill adopted by the legislature’s anti-abortion majority in the past two years – a particularly damaging and less-than-honest provision redefines abortion in a way that requires the dispensing and taking of the abortion pill to be regulated as though it were surgery. This change will significantly reduce the kinds of health care professionals who can dispense this medication, creating the likelihood that abortion services in rural communities will cease.
Planned Parenthood supports quality and safety-oriented regulation for all health care. For this reason, the organization expressed in hearings on this bill that it opposes regulation targeting abortion and no other health care. Planned Parenthood opposes regulation that does not protect women’s health; this law endangers women. By increasing the likelihood that abortion care will be withdrawn from many communities, women and couples will be forced to travel much farther for this care, at a time when they are contending with the complex emotions and considerations that can accompany unintended pregnancy, as well as significant additional expense in the midst of a tough economy.
With access limited, low-income and rural women will likely delay their care, pushing them to have more invasive abortions later in their pregnancy and possibly increasing the number of surgical abortions in Arizona.
“Under the disguise of making a law that makes women safe, HB 2416 will actually be more dangerous for rural, low-income women, delaying care and making access difficult,” said Bryan Howard, CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona. “Claiming to be more knowledgeable than trained medical professionals and their licensing boards, the legislature has once again put themselves between patients and their doctors.”
In order for this legislation to pass, anti-abortion interest groups provided testimony during the legislative process that distorted medical data and the directives of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which monitors and has certified the safety of the pill used in medication abortion.
“Regardless of Arizonans’ views on abortion, all citizens should expect elected representatives to use accurate information as the basis for the laws that regulate access to safe medical care,” says Howard. “In HB 2416, both the anti-abortion legislators who voted for this legislation and the anti-abortion interest groups that provided them with talking points did all Arizonans a disservice by employing deceitful tactics to get this bill passed.”
HB2416 will change many other laws and regulations currently in place regarding abortion. The bill compounds access problems created by this bill by banning the use of telemedicine to perform abortions, despite the fact that telemedicine has proven to be a safe and effective method of enabling patients and their health care providers to communicate in the provision of medication abortion.
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.