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Sterling writes: "Arizona's governor threw yet another political volley at Planned Parenthood Friday night, inking a law aimed at preventing thousands of women on state Medicaid rolls from accessing family-planning services"

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer talks to the news media after voting in the Republican presidential primary, 02/28/12. (photo: Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images)
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer talks to the news media after voting in the Republican presidential primary, 02/28/12. (photo: Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images)

Jan Brewer's Abortion Grenade

By Terry Greene Sterling, The Daily Beast

06 May 12


rizona's governor threw yet another political volley at Planned Parenthood Friday night, inking a law aimed at preventing thousands of women on state Medicaid rolls from accessing family-planning services - including breast exams and pap smears - from organizations that also offer abortions.

Jan Brewer signed HB 2800 into law at a gathering of the Susan B. Anthony List, a group that claims on its website that its "grassroots activists" are "on the front lines in the battle to defund America's abortion giant - Planned Parenthood."

The bill drew swift reaction from former U.S. surgeon general Richard Carmona, Arizona's Democratic candidate for senator. At an opening of his campaign office in Phoenix on Saturday, Carmona told The Daily Beast that "anything we do to diminish access of health care to women" is bad policy.

A longtime preventive-health-care advocate, Carmona said in a statement released today: "This is an example of how politics and overheated rhetoric get in the way of common sense. Planned Parenthood provides a vast array of women's health care services, often reaching under-served communities where health and economic disparities make access to quality care difficult."

Bryan Howard, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona, struck a similar note, telling The Daily Beast that the intent of the law is to "score political points" and "demonize" Planned Parenthood to "appease certain segments of the voting public."

The law will reduce Planned Parenthood's clients by about 10 percent. About 4,000 women on Medicaid, out of a total of 40,000-45,000 patients overall, visit the organization's 14 Arizona offices, Howard said.

But the law will likely also impact thousands more who may seek family-planning services from Planned Parenthood when the Affordable Health Care for America Act takes full effect in 2014.

As late as last month, Medicaid officials were still trying to figure out the economic ramifications of the bill, according to The Arizona Republic. Officials were not available for comment on Saturday.

In a statement released in the wake of the ceremonial bill signing, Brewer said: "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."

Asked about the political strategy behind signing the bill alongside the Susan B. Anthony List, the governor's spokesman, Matthew Benson, wrote in an email: "Susan B. Anthony List is one of the nation's most prominent supporters of pro-life elected officials, and HB 2800 was a high priority of the group. It only made sense to sign the measure into law in front of this group and its members."

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the Susan B. Anthony List donates mostly to Republicans. It contributed $511,416 to Rick Santorum's presidential campaign in 2012, and in 2010 donated about $23,000 to attempt to defeat congressional Democratic pro-choice candidates Gabrielle Giffords, Raul Grijalva, and Ann Kirkpatrick. (Kirkpatrick lost; the other two won their bids.)

Brewer held off signing the HB 2800 until Tea Party legislators passed one of her top priorities: a bill that would make it easier for her to fire and discipline state employees.

Planned Parenthood is considering a legal challenge as its next step. It's not "acceptable," Howard said, to have the state prohibit women from choosing where they want to get birth control. your social media marketing partner


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+35 # psadave 2012-05-06 22:24
I'm so sick of all the GOP goons that are always crying about 'somebody' taking away their FREEDOMS and then passing laws like this!
+12 # Regina 2012-05-06 23:11
When women join the forces waging the War Against Women, it is especially reprehensible. I can't believe that Brewer spent her entire fertility segment of life without contraception of some kind, even if she didn't go to Planned Parenthood to get it. The misogyny of male political aspirants is understandable even though it's reprehensible. To get the same attitudes and actions from women is a dirty atrocity.
+2 # Muffy787 2012-05-07 11:15
I doubt she was in the situation to get pregnant often, who would want to go near that evil witch? A poor excuse for a woman. Cannot wait until her term is up.
+8 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-05-07 00:05
What's wrong with Arizona?
+2 # Muffy787 2012-05-07 11:14
Too many right wing Wackos that only watch Faux news. They are also so arrogant.
+7 # Richard Miller 2012-05-07 05:36
Has anyone ever checked to see if Jan Brewer is actually a woman?
+1 # Muffy787 2012-05-07 11:16
+11 # Sweet Pea 2012-05-07 07:03
Isn't it strange that the same people who are against government-prov ided contraceptives are the same people who scream the loudest about "all the children being born to welfare queens"?
My grandmother told me that "abstinence didn't work when she was young during the 1880's, and it certainly isn't going to work today.
+12 # feloneouscat 2012-05-07 07:18
So endangering poor women's health is considered a "good thing"?

At what point will the people say "enough is enough" and that these people have gone too far?
+15 # Lolanne 2012-05-07 07:50
This woman is an abomination, along with so many other extremists who don't give a flying flip about who they hurt, whose health care they take away, what hardship they cause, as long as they "appease" their power-mad donors. I don't see how they can look in the mirror in the mornings without gagging. I hope the voters of AZ turn them out in the street come election day, along with ALL their slimy kind, in ALL states and in DC.

Those of you who are angry at President Obama and plan to sit out this election or write in some 3rd party, take a good clear look at what these repugnant monsters are doing across the country. If you're female, do you really want to be treated this way? Told where and from whom you can obtain health care? Give over control of YOUR BODY to such pigs? If you're male, do you want your wives and daughters so treated? Because this is what you'll get if you help hand over the whole country to the mad dogs that are drooling at the prospect of having unlimited power with NOBODY to rein them in at all.

Get out and vote! Help others vote! Volunteer! and VOTE DEMOCRATIC!
+9 # Kimberly999 2012-05-07 09:47
Jan Brewer must be insane. Many women who seek family planning are doing so to try and prevent the slide into poverty that happens when unplanned pregnancy derails a career or an education. When I volunteered at Planned Parenthood in the 70's. 90% of the women who came in did so alone & scared without the support or even interest of the "father" of the fetus. Some were trying to preserve themselves, keep jobs that they would have lost if their pregnancy was discovered, one was covering up an affair with her married boss. Governor Brewer will find herself with more families in crisis due to this ruling.
+3 # Muffy787 2012-05-07 11:17
Correct you are. She is INSANE!!!
+1 # jwb110 2012-05-07 13:05
Signing that law will have the effect of a further drain on taxes. It cost the state more for each potentially unwanted child born than for the cost of birth control. Further, Planned Parenthood doesn't supply abortions but will make referrals if asked.
0 # James38 2012-05-08 10:30
It is my clear impression that this law is illegal and ridiculously discriminatory. Brewer has little education but a lot of experience in running government. Her problem seems to stem from some right-wing tough attitude that has shut down her ability to empathize reasonably.

I feel that any person seeking or accepting government assistance or welfare should be required to perform useful work and receive job training and education if at all possible. That just makes sense, and is better for the person as well as balancing the cost to society.

However a law like this, restricting a person's choice of type of health care, amounts to imposing a religious or personal preference on others, and is blatantly unjust. It shows why separation of church and state is so important, and provides a clear example of the need for anti-discrimina tion provisions at all levels of government.

Government is created by all citizens, and exists to serve all equally. Personal preferences are just that, personal, and have no place in government regulations.

If Brewer wants to speak out about her thoughts on abortion, that is fine, but trying to impose her views on others using the power of the government is wrong, and either is or should definitely be illegal.
0 # James38 2012-05-08 10:33
I agree with Bryan Howard's reaction, and strongly encourage him to challenge this abusive law. Brewer needs to be shown what the limits are. She is abusing her position, and must not be allowed to get away with it. This is the sort of abuse and restriction of freedom that the right wingnuts and teabaggers want to impose on the nation.

As psadave said in the first comment, "I'm so sick of all the GOP goons that are always crying about 'somebody' taking away their FREEDOMS and then passing laws like this!"

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