Arizona Residents Must Fund Planned Parenthood During Lawsuit

State   Steven Ertelt   Jul 20, 2012   |   12:49PM    Phoenix, AZ

Arizona residents must continue having their taxpayer funds going to the Planned Parenthood abortion business while the lawsuit it filed earlier this week continues. In order to defend the law, the state needs a few weeks to compile its defense and attorneys for the state and abortion business agreed with the judge to allow that and to give Planned Parenthood time to respond.

According to one news report, “David Cole, the state’s solicitor general, told U.S. District Court Judge Neil Wake on Thursday that the state wants more time to respond to the lawsuit by Planned Parenthood challenging HB 2800. More to the point, Cole said having to respond before Aug. 2, the day the law is set to take effect, would create difficulties. Attorney Daniel Pasternak who is representing Planned Parenthood said he has no problem with giving the state more time — as long as his client was not harmed in the interim.”

“So the attorneys worked out a schedule where Arizona gets until the end of August to file its response, with Planned Parenthood then given three more weeks to respond. Wake will then hear arguments on Oct. 5,” the newspaper continued.

That means taxpayer funds will continue to flow through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the state’s Medicaid program, to the abortion business until further notice.

The Whole Woman’s Health Funding Priority Act of Arizona (HB 2800) de-funded abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood of state family planning money. The bill is based on model legislation developed by the SBA List and the Alliance Defending Freedom, and prioritizes family planning funds away from abortion-centered businesses like Planned Parenthood to entities that provide women with comprehensive health care.

The measure prohibits the state or any local government from using public money to contract with an organization that includes abortions.

The Susan B. Anthony List slammed the lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider, seeking to block the state of Arizona from enacting the law.

“Arizona taxpayers have spoken through their elected representatives – they do not want their tax dollars going to abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, which performs more than 330,000 abortions a year,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “The Whole Woman’s Health Funding Priority Act is pro-woman legislation that recognizes that women deserve access to comprehensive health care, not abortion. We are confident that the will of the people not to fund the abortion industry will prevail in court.”

Senior Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom Steven Aden added:  “The precious tax dollars of the people of Arizona should not be funneled to abortionists, especially during tough economic times. The members of the Arizona Legislature have worded a bill that allows them to be good stewards of the people’s money in this regard.  It’s no surprise that Planned Parenthood would oppose that in light of their ongoing thirst for taxpayer dollars.”

When she signed the bill into law, Brewer said in a statement:  “This is a common-sense law that tightens existing state regulations and closes loopholes in order to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to fund abortions, whether directly or indirectly. By signing this measure into law, I stand with the majority of Americans who oppose the use of taxpayer funds for abortion.”

Bryan Howard, president of Planned Parenthood of Arizona, was upset by the signing of the bill to get the state out of funding the abortion business. He was upset that brewer signed the bill at an event sponsored by a pro-life women’s group, the Susan B. Anthony List.

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“I think it’s also instructive that the place that the governor would sign this is at a political rally — it might be an elegant political rally, but it is a 100 percent political event, and that speaks volumes about what this legislation was about from day one,” he said.

In 2011, eight states successfully defunded Planned Parenthood of more than $61.7 million — including Texas, New Hampshire, and Indiana. Ohio, Iowa, and Oklahoma have taken on Planned Parenthood’s tax funding, in addition to Arizona, this year.