Arizona Bans Planned Parenthood Funding

     PHOENIX (CN) – Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday signed a law that bars Planned Parenthood and other family planning organizations that perform abortions from receiving public funds.
     House Bill 2800 aka the “Whole Woman’s Health Funding Priority Act” prioritizes the allocation of public money to “health care facilities that are owned or operated by this state or any political subdivision of this state,” to hospitals and “federally qualified health centers,” rural health clinics, and primary health care providers.
     The bill prohibits the state from entering into a contract or granting money “to any person that performs nonfederally qualified abortions or maintains or operates a facility where nonfederally qualified abortions are performed.”
     The law allows abortion only to save a mother’s life or in cases of rape or incest. Arizona already barred state-funded abortions. Brewer said the new law “closes loopholes” that could “indirectly” allow money to be used for this.
     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. By signing this measure into law, I stand with the majority of Americans who oppose the use of taxpayer funds for abortion.”
     In April, Brewer signed a bill banning most abortions at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy and requiring that physicians performing surgical abortions have privileges in a hospital within 30 miles from the place where the abortion is done.
     Kansas, North Carolina and Texas have similar legislation, and Indiana, New Jersey and Wisconsin have used their budget processes to stop public funding for abortion providers, Brewer said in her statement.
     Such laws have been challenged in courts in Texas, Kansas and Indiana. Planned Parenthood of Arizona spokeswomen said the state funding cutoff would affect nearly 20,000 women who used Planned Parenthood for family planning and health care.

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