Arizona Bill De-Funds Planned Parenthood, Abortion Industry

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 7, 2012   |   3:50PM   |   Phoenix, AZ

A bill in the Arizona state legislature that received initial approval from a state House panel on Friday would revoke taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses through the state’s family planning program.

The measure would have the state Join Texas, Indiana, New Hampshire and others that have revoked funding for the abortion business to ensure taxpayers are not on the hook for funding an organization that destroys the lives of women and unborn children via abortion.

Rep. Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix, says state law in Arizona already prohibits taxpayer funding of abortions directly, but she wants to cut off what she called “backdoor funding” to abortion businesses as well.

Cynde Cerf, a Planned Parenthood Arizona spokeswoman told the Associated Press that cutting funding would jeopardize non-abortion services Planned Parenthood provides, but did not address how stopping abortions would free up necessary funds to pay for them.

Deborah Sheasby, a Center for Arizona Policy attorney, says the pro-life group strongly supports the bill.

“The state doesn’t lose any money through doing this, so it will be out there to help women,” she told AP.

The group said Planned Parenthood tried to defeat the measure in committee but was unsuccessful.

“Once again, Planned Parenthood tried to distort and misrepresent the dangers of abortion and the facts of this bill. Yet, thanks to the bill’s sponsor Rep. Kimberly Yee, and the members of the Senate Judiciary committee, Planned Parenthood was not able to derail this important legislation,” CAP said. “The two-hour committee hearing is well-worth watching. One of the most powerful moments was when one pro-abortion supporter tried to claim that giving birth is more dangerous – and causes more deaths – than abortion. Senator Steve Yarbrough reminded the woman that this is impossible because there is always one death from abortion – the loss of the preborn child.”

“The most concerning aspect of the committee hearing however is Planned Parenthood’s complete denial of any risks of abortion. You and I know abortion not only takes the life of the preborn child but also poses significant risks to the mother. All of us know women who were harmed by an abortion,” the pro-life group added.

Other legislation pro-life groups support is also advancing in the Arizona legislature, according to the Arizona Catholic Conference.

“On Thursday, a very important bill (HB 2625) pertaining to religious liberty passed the Arizona House of Representatives and now heads to the Senate.  Specifically, HB 2625 creates a much more meaningful exemption for insurers and employers with religious objections to providing contraceptives in their health plans,” the group told LifeNews. “If passed into law, this legislation will better enable Arizonans to defend ourselves against the recent actions by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and certainly better protect religious liberty whenever the federal contraceptive mandate rule is overturned or changed.”

“This past week was also very good for other pro-life concerns initiated by the ACC as the Senate approved by a 21 to 9 vote a bill (SB 1009) that will effectively keep abortion providers out of public and charter schools,” the group added. “Additionally, legislation expanding the rights of conscience for various professionals (SB 1365) was passed by the Senate by the same margin.”

“Finally, it must be noted that on Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a critically important bill (HB 2036) sponsored by Rep. Kimberly Yee that, among other things, bans abortions after 20 weeks.  While we are opposed to abortions at any time of the pregnancy, this bill is an enormous step in the right direction.  The ACC is particularly grateful to Dr. Mike Czerkes who, at our request, gave powerful testimony as to the health dangers women face when undergoing late term abortions,” it continued.