Despite the fact that Arizona has already banned public funding for abortion, Governor Jan Brewer signed an even more restrictive bill that bars funding to any organization that provides abortions — namely Planned Parenthood.
Of course, Planned Parenthood and other groups like it do a whole lot more than abortions. But that's irrelevant, according to Brewer, who released a statement explaining why she signed the bill.
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.
The bill, dubiously named The Whole Woman's Health Priority Funding Act, may very likely be ruled unconstitutional. In fact, Brewer signed the bill on the same day a federal appeals court ruled that Texas could not block state funding to Planned Parenthood.
As Bryan Howard, president of Planned Parenthood Arizona, explains, the highly politicized Whole Woman's Health Priority Funding Act has serious ramifications for the women of Arizona who rely on Planned Parenthood's non-abortion medical services.
I think it's also instructive that the place that the governor would sign this is at a political rally — it might be an elegant political rally, but it is a 100 percent political event, and that speaks volumes about what this legislation was about from day one. But while the impetus for the governor is political, and for the sponsors it's political, the impact is on health care for poor Arizonans, and that is a terrible, terrible trade-off.
Planned Parenthood's services include birth control, preventive cancer screenings, and other basic health care.
[Image via AP]