Some days living in Arizona makes feel like I’m stranded up shit creek without a paddle. Last week, two pieces of anti-choice legislation were signed by Governor Jan Brewer, including HB 2443, which outlaws sex and race selective abortions, and HB 2416, which defines taking the abortion pill as surgery. But the onslaught against women’s health is far from being over.
As if the attacks on Title X funding at the federal level weren’t enough, Arizona’s legislators really want to give the middle finger to Planned Parenthood and low income women. HB 2384, which was approved by the state senate on Tuesday, would limit organizational eligibility for the Arizona Working Poor Tax Credit on the basis of providing, referring to, promoting, paying for, or providing coverage for abortions. This bill specifically targets Planned Parenthood, because Planned Parenthood is the only abortion provider that is a qualifying organization.
The elimination of the Working Poor Tax Credit doesn’t just impact women’s access to abortion, it also impacts women’s access to birth control and preventative care, like pelvic and breast exams. Planned Parenthood provides all of these services. In fact, abortion only accounts for approximately 10% of the health care services provided at Planned Parenthood. But losing their status as a qualifying organization for the tax credit means that donors who support all of Planned Parenthood’s services may decide to withhold funding because they can’t write it off on their taxes anymore.
Another big thumbs down, Arizona. Not sure when HB 2384 is going to land on Jan Brewer’s desk – but it’s pretty much a guarantee that she’ll approve it. Six more pieces of anti-choice legislation to go, folks.