Arizona House Passes Bill to Make It Easier to Defund Planned Parenthood

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 3, 2016   |   1:54PM   |   Phoenix, AZ

Arizona legislators are not giving up the fight to protect their constituents’ tax dollars from funding abortions.

State lawmakers previously tried to de-fund the abortion giant Planned Parenthood; however, the abortion group challenged the law and courts later struck it down.

On Wednesday, the Arizona House took steps in that direction again with a bill that would make it easier to de-fund abortion groups that violate current laws, the Associated Press reports.

Planned Parenthood officials claim that none of the taxpayer money they receive funds abortions, though some of their former workers say they do not segregate the funds. Arizona House Bill 2599 would penalize abortion groups that currently receive taxpayer money if the groups do not segregate the funds from their abortion practices.

Penalties would include loss of taxpayer funding and the revocation of licenses, according to the AP. Under the bill, abortion groups also could lose state funding if they violate medial waste rules, submit claims for abortion-related procedures to Medicaid or fail to report the sexual assault of a child to police, the report states.

SIGN THE PETITION! Congress Must De-Fund Planned Parenthood Immediately

Arizona state Rep. Justin Olson, R-Mesa, sponsored the bill. He said Arizona HB 2599 will ensure that current laws are being obeyed.

“I think that it is appropriate that there is an enforcement mechanism to ensure that that law is not being violated, that it is being obeyed,” Olson said at the Feb. 24 hearing. “This bill does not target anybody. If you’re not following the law, you’re not going to be a qualified provider.”

Unsurprisingly, abortion supporters opposed the bill and threatened a court challenge if it becomes law. A Planned Parenthood Arizona spokeswoman claimed the bill is a “gotcha game” to “chase down every penny” of taxpayer funds that it receives.

The bill passed the state House in a 35-24 party-line vote, according to the report. It moves to the Arizona Senate for consideration.

Last week, LifeNews reported the Arizona Senate passed a measure, Arizona Senate Bill 1485, to ban abortion groups from the state employee charitable giving program. The ban is a continuation of a move last year by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to kick out Planned Parenthood from the program. In 2014, the abortion business’s Arizona affiliate received about $7,250 from state employees through the program, LifeNews reported.

State Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said people who want to donate to abortion groups like Planned Parenthood should do it privately, not through the state.

“I believe that abortion kills unborn human beings, and I don’t want one penny of my tax dollars which support the government payroll system to be implicated in the killing of unborn human beings,” Kavanagh said.