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AZ Nears Passage of Tough Regulations on Planned Parenthood

The Arizona Legislature, currently meeting in the state Capitol, is close to approving a bill that would make it easier to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in the state. (DustyPixel/iStock)
The Arizona Legislature, currently meeting in the state Capitol, is close to approving a bill that would make it easier to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in the state. (DustyPixel/iStock)
April 7, 2016

PHOENIX - The Arizona Legislature is close to final passage of a bill designed to make it easier to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in the state. The measure, which places draconian regulations on any clinic that provides abortions, has passed the House and needs only final approval in the Senate. Republican Governor Doug Ducey is expected to sign the bill.

Jodi Liggett, vice president for public affairs of Planned Parenthood Arizona, said the bill is designed to make it very difficult for abortion providers to operate.

"One of the insidious things about this piece of legislation, it's kind of a stealth bill," said Liggett. "It layers in all sorts of additional requirements for abortion providers. And from our perspective, it's really a 'gotcha' game setting the bar so high that inevitably someone will trip up."

If approved, the bill would enable the state to cut funding and revoke licenses for providers that fail to separate tax money from funds used to provide abortions. The bill is part of a package of anti-abortion and anti-Planned Parenthood measures coming out of the GOP-controlled Legislature. Other measures require doctors to follow outdated guidelines for the most commonly used abortion drug, a ban on the use of fetal tissue for research, and removing Planned Parenthood from a list of state charities.

Liggett said defunding Planned Parenthood would remove a critical resource for low-income Arizona women.

"Thousands of women would be without a medical home and without a place to get cancer screenings and all sorts of family planning and other services that actually help them avoid an unplanned pregnancy," she added.

The bill's sponsor, Representative Justin Olson (R), said it provides enforcement mechanisms to ensure taxpayers aren't paying for abortions. A similar bill passed in 2012 was stuck down by the courts.


The full bill is published here.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - AZ