PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION OF AMERICA
PLANNED PARENTHOOD ARIZONA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 14, 2016
CONTACT: Planned Parenthood: [email protected] Tayler Tucker, 602.263.4225
Planned Parenthood Files Suit on Behalf of its Patients in Arizona
“..We will do everything in our power to protect access to care for the Arizonans who rely on us.”
Phoenix, AZ – Planned Parenthood, and the American Civil Liberties Union today filed suit in Arizona federal district court to challenge politicians’ illegal attempt to, once again, block Medicaid patients from accessing birth control, cancer screenings, and other preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers. In May, Governor Doug Ducey signed a law that targets access to care at Planned Parenthood through Medicaid, including HIV & STD testing, birth control, and cancer screenings for more than 2,500 Medicaid patients each year. For a copy of the filed complaint, please click here.
Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“This case is about the people who rely on us for basic care every day. From Utah to Kansas to Florida, courts have said it is unacceptable for politicians to dictate where women can go for their health care. In fact, extreme politicians in Arizona already tried to prevent patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood, and a federal appeals court blocked this illegal effort. That they are trying again is simply politics. We’ll continue fighting in Arizona, and anywhere else there are efforts to block our patients from the care they need.”
Statement from Bryan Howard, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Arizona:
“We are in court again because everyone deserves access to quality, affordable, compassionate care no matter who you are or where you are from. The intent is clear: to ban abortion, and they are willing to target access to birth control, cancer screenings, STD tests, and other critical care for the 2,500 Arizonans who rely on Planned Parenthood through Medicaid in the process. We will do everything in our power to protect access to care for the Arizonans who rely on us.”
Statement from Jennifer Lee, staff attorney at the ACLU:
“This law is yet another attempt to intimidate doctors who provide abortion and to punish low-income women in particular. The state is playing politics with women’s health and is threatening to prevent low-income women from obtaining vital health services, including pregnancy care, contraceptives, and cancer screenings. Depriving women of that access simply because they are enrolled in Medicaid is not only illegal, it’s immoral.”
Planned Parenthood is an integral health care provider in Arizona, a state that’s access to health care is among the worst in the country. This law would have an outsized impact on people with low-income and communities of color, both groups which have historically faced systemic barriers in accessing quality health care. Annually, Planned Parenthood health centers in Arizona serve more than 11,000 Latinos. In Maricopa County alone, Planned Parenthood served over 60% of the women in need of affordable contraception at publicly funded family planning health centers.
According to theCongressional Budget Office, if patients who rely on public health programs are blocked from coming to Planned Parenthood, up to 650,000 people would face decreased access to health care in just a one-year period. Parenthood health centersserve an outsized role in meeting the health care needs of those who rely on federally funded health programs. More than half of Planned Parenthood's health centers across the U.S. are in rural or medically underserved areas. In April, the Obama Administration issued guidance to lawmakers in all fifty states reiterating that recent politically motivated efforts to block Planned Parenthood patients from accessing care through Medicaid violate long-standing federal law.
In the community for 80 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. For more information, please visit www.ppaz.org.
July 15, 2016