FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“It is a dangerous disservice to women and families who already have too few health care options.”
House Bill 2599 seeks once again to prevent low income women from coming to Planned Parenthood Arizona for preventive exams, birth control and cancer screenings.
The legislature last took a bite at this apple in 2012. That year, Planned Parenthood repeatedly advised legislators that the proposal violated federal Medicaid law. When the state agreed to take federal Medicaid money, it agreed to abide by the rule that women must be permitted to decide where to get this life saving health care.
Ignoring Planned Parenthood’s warnings, the bill passed and was signed into law. Planned Parenthood and another health care provider sued the state, prevailed and Arizona taxpayers footed our legal bills. Now the legislature is targeting low income women and their health care again.
HB 2599 creates opportunities for Planned Parenthood’s opponents to level manufactured allegations against our organization that, in turn, can be a pretext to exclude Planned Parenthood from the Medicaid system.
Every time Planned Parenthood Arizona has been subjected to manufactured allegations, even our harshest critics in public office concluded our medical professionals followed the law. There is not a single example of Planned Parenthood Arizona violating federal, state or local law.
The legislature should stop this campaign against low income women and Planned Parenthood. It is a dangerous disservice to women and families who already have too few health care options.
It is time the sponsors of this and similar bills stop expecting taxpayers to pick up the tab. The last time similarly intended legislation became law, the resulting litigation ended up costing Arizona taxpayers over $200,000. Ironically, HB 2599 is titled the Taxpayer Protection Act.
HB2599, sponsored by Representative Olsen, LD25, is scheduled for Appropriations at 2:00 pm on 2/24/2016: http://azleg.gov/DocumentsForBill.asp?Bill_Number=2599&Session_Id=115
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.
February 24, 2016