February 25, 2009
This bill goes too far and proposes an extraordinary array of new and complicated regulations on healthcare providers. With this bill, politicians will intervene between women, families and their physician. House bill 2564 hurts more than half of Arizona’s residents – women.
“In the midst of the current economic crisis, when every job and every home is at risk, it is irresponsible to propose legislation that makes healthcare less accessible and more expensive,” said Bryan Howard, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona. “Arizona does not have an abortion problem, we have a prevention problem.”
The issue about abortion in Arizona that is not being addressed is the high rate of unplanned pregnancies. If the legislature truly wants to deal with abortion while protecting the health of their communities, they should support house bill 2544, which offers the real solution: prevention-focused education.
Arizona has the second highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation with over 100 per 1,000 girls ages 15-19 getting pregnant each year. But, unplanned pregnancies aren’t the only problem, one in four Arizona teen girls already has a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and one out of five sexually active youth will contract an STI in the next year. Arizonans are facing a preventable public health problem.
While some legislators are focusing on restricting access to vital health care services, house bill 2544 addresses the need for responsible information and prevention as a way to combat the increase of unplanned pregnancy.
“Comprehensive sex education stresses abstinence and responsible decision making, but also includes information on contraception and avoiding sexually transmitted infections,” says Representative Kyrsten Sinema, the bill’s main sponsor. “Both the evidence and the American public strongly support using this approach to help young people transition from adolescence to adulthood safely and responsibly.”
Planned Parenthood Arizona believes it is time for Arizona schools to end ineffective “abstinence-only” programs that don’t work. It is time to provide instruction in comprehensive sex education that teach abstinence as well as contraception, healthy communication, responsible decision making, and prevention of sexually transmitted infections. To that end, we enthusiastically support house bill 2544.
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 operates 20 health center locations in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Globe, Prescott and Yuma. For more information, please visit http://www.ppaz.org/.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.