Planned Parenthood Arizona Calls Gov. Brewer on Bad Decisions and Takes Action
Yesterday afternoon Planned Parenthood Arizona’s Bryan Howard, president and CEO, and Candace Lew, OB/GYN and board chair, resigned their respective memberships on the Governor’s Commission on Women’s and Children’s Health. This resignation was a result of numerous decisions Gov. Brewer and her administration made that endanger women’s health and undermine the work of the Commission.
“Planned Parenthood Arizona believes strongly in the importance of the Commission’s mission and work. Indeed, the Commission was created by Governor Jane Hull following our recommendation,” said Howard.
The letter sent to Gov. Brewer cited that for the governor political priorities outweigh women’s health priorities. The governor’s actions are deliberately contrary to the recommendations made by public health leaders who have donated their time and best thinking to the women and families of Arizona through their participation in the Commission’s deliberations on critical issues including teen pregnancy and inadequate access to basic prevention-oriented health care.
Harmful decisions made by Gov. Brewer and her administration, include:
· The decision to ban information about family planning and sexually transmitted infection prevention at two state-sponsored Women’s Health Expos in Phoenix.
· The decision to resume ineffective abstinence-only education programming that prohibits distribution of life-saving information about how to reduce exposure to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
· The decision to sign House Bill 2564, a measure which will lessen access to abortion care in Arizona, significantly increasing health care costs for Arizona women and families and exposing the private health care decisions of Arizona families to the general public.
· The decision to sign Senate Bill 1175, which will reduce the scope of practice of duly licensed Arizona health professionals, exacerbating the state’s already dire shortage.
· The decision to rescind the agreement between the Arizona Department of Public Health and Planned Parenthood to promote testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.
In addition to the above decisions, Gov. Brewer and her administration have repeatedly ignored and rejected Planned Parenthood Arizona’s requests to meet and describe the full scope of services the organization provides; services that are enabling women, men and young people to reduce their risk of disease, detect cancer earlier, and prevent unplanned pregnancy. Six out of seven women who come to Planned Parenthood Arizona do so for preventive health care services.
The policies Gov. Brewer and the administration have adopted are driven by political considerations, given that they squarely contradict the recommendations from public health leaders including the Arizona Board of Nursing, the Arizona College of Emergency Physicians, the Arizona Nurses Association and the Arizona Public Health Association. In so doing, the administration is wasting taxpayer dollars and putting Arizonans in harm’s way.
Planned Parenthood Arizona is the leading sexual health organization in Arizona. We provide health care, education and outreach services to over 100,000 men, women, teens and parents annually. Planned Parenthood Arizona operates 20 health center locations in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Globe, Prescott and Yuma. For more information, please visit http://www.ppaz.org/.