Pro-choice groups file lawsuit over Arizona law defunding Planned Parenthood

By Kay Steiger
Tuesday, July 17, 2012 16:06 EDT
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Jan Brewer (Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com)
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The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood of Arizona filed a lawsuit against an Arizona law which prohibits Medicaid patients from receiving any covered services at clinics like Planned Parenthood simply because they also provide abortion care.

The complaint (PDF) was filed in an Arizona District Court on Monday and directly challenges an Arizona law, known as HB 2800 (PDF), signed by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer in May.

ACLU and Planned Parenthood said in a press release that a federal court enjoined a similar law passed in Indiana, and other states have similarly tried to block state Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood, including Kansas, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

“It is wrong for the state to tell Arizonans who they can and cannot see for their health care. The men and women of this state have the right to see the health care provider they deem is best for them,” says Bryan Howard, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Arizona said during a press call. “We are confident that the federal court will agree and grant an injunction to prevent this harmful law from going into effect.”

The Arizona law is just one of the latest pushes to defund Planned Parenthood, even though the Hyde Amendment prohibits federal funds, like Medicaid, from being used for abortion care services. Conservatives have consistently discounted Planned Parenthood’s role as a health care provider even though the organization also offers breast cancer screenings, sexually transmitted infection testing and contraceptive services. In fact, abortion care services only make up about 3 percent of all of Planned Parenthood’s services.

[Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) via Shutterstock]

Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger is the managing editor of Raw Story. Her contributions have appeared in The American Prospect, The Atlantic, Campus Progress, The Guardian, In These Times, Jezebel, Religion Dispatches, RH Reality Check, and others. You can follow her on Twitter @kaysteiger.
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