“Parental choice!” is the rallying cry for Arizona Republicans who promote spending state tax dollars to pay for private and religious schools.
Republicans shout “My body! My choice!” on the Floor of the Arizona House when they rail against wearing facemasks to prevent the spread of COVID.
They cry for the freedom to be unvaccinated — against COVID, measles or anything else.
They exercise their power to protect their right to carry assault weapons to the grocery store and to keep guns cheap and plentiful in Arizona.
BUT when it comes to reproductive rights and body autonomy for women, Republicans insist on government control over family planning choices that are NONE of their business. This is the height of hypocrisy. Government has no right to insert itself into private medical decisions.
Season 2, Episode 10 of A View from the Left Side focuses on the fight to maintain abortion rights in the United States. [This podcast was recorded before the June 24, 2022 Supreme Court decision on abortion.]
Senator Nancy Barto brags that Arizona is the #1 “Pro-Life” state in the country. That’s because, for years, Arizona Republican politicians have followed the extreme anti-abortion agenda laid out by Cathi Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy. Barto often sponsors these repressive reproductive rights bills, like the recent 15 week abortion ban.
If the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) strikes down the landmark abortion rights case, Roe v Wade, in the coming weeks, Arizona’s “Pro-Life” label will come back to haunt many residents as they find their right to body autonomy removed by state law.
Planned Parenthood of Arizona (PP) and the Arizona Democratic Party (ADP) held a joint press conference at the Arizona Capitol on June 24, 2022, the day the US Supreme Court struck down Roe v Wade, the landmark abortion rights case from 1973.
At the press conference, PP President and CEO Brittany Fonteno said that Planned Parenthood stopped all abortion care services and canceled appointments in Arizona that day, due to multiple conflicting state laws on the books.
If Arizona is truly a “pro life” state, it’s time to think big on maternal and child health rather than thinking small.￼ Let’s go beyond the womb with our “pro-life” ideals and help Moms and their children lead healthier, safer lives.
I have met with more than 100 people and analyzed the data, the needs, the costs, and the gaps in services in maternal and child health in Arizona for more than a year.
The bottomline is that Arizona has stingy policies, cumbersome bureaucracy, and unnecessarily lengthy application procedures that cost money and lives and limit access to healthcare. I ran on this issue in 2015, and five years later, I am shocked at how right I was.
Did you know that Arizona is dead last– #50 — in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)? ACEs include food insecurity, housing insecurity, loss of parent(s) due to incarceration, death, addiction or abandonment and similar sad scenarios.
Did you know that only 6% of the people eligible for TANF (Temporary Assistance for Need Families) in Arizona actually get it? Not even all Arizonans living in extreme poverty get TANF.
Did you know that women, who are eligible for AHCCCS (Arizona’s Medicaid system), are coming to indigent clinics pregnant with no prenatal care, no insurance, and no money?
It is morally unacceptable and fiscally irresponsible to deny basic healthcare, food security, housing security, and a solid education Arizona’s children and their parents.
Across the nation today, men and women were protesting stringent anti-abortion bills that have passed in at least eight states recently. There was an impressive rally with close to 200 people at the Capitol today in Phoenix and even more in Tucson.
Alabama’s bill is the most recent and the most stringent. It is essentially an all out ban on abortion because it does not exclude women who have been raped or who have been the victims of incest. It also criminalizes doctors. They can be charged with a felony for conducting an abortion.
Six states including Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, and Ohio have passed heartbeat bills. This means that an abortion cannot be conducted after a heartbeat has been detected. This can be as early as 6 to 8 weeks. Often women don’t even know they’re pregnant by then. Utah and Arkansas ban abortions after the middle of the second trimester.
Some states, like Arizona, still have abortion bans that pre-date Roe v Wade on the books. If one of these 2019 right-wing bills gets to the Supreme Court and results in over-turning Roe, it is unclear what will happen, but Arizona’s law could go into effect.
I was in college at Ohio State, when Roe v Wade passed the Supreme Court. I remember what life was like for young women in the time before abortion was legal and when access to contraception was limited. Everybody was on the “Rhythm Method”, and everybody in the dorm knew if somebody was “late.” I knew at least a half a dozen women in the dorm who were driven to New York for abortions. I knew a guy who got three women pregnant and drove them all to New York City. (You’d think he could figure out that he was part of the problem!) When abortions became legalized in Detroit, my boyfriend and I gave his younger sister a ride to Detroit.
To get birth control pills, I had to take a 1.5 hour bus ride from campus to the Planned Parenthood Clinic in ghetto on the near East Side. The clinic was in a dingy storefront. The waiting room was filled primarily with African-American women and children who lived in the neighborhood nearby plus a handful of white college girls like me.
Although we had a short floor calendar on May 1, we had some rousing debates. The highlight was a two-hour debate on SB1085, association health plans. (Watch the action here, beginning at 19:32 min.)
The Republicans have had three bills this year to lower healthcare insurance costs by encouraging people to leave the healthcare marketplace. I agree that the Affordable Care Act is too expensive, particularly for sole proprietors (like my husband who was offered a silver ACA plan for more than $1000 per month just for him.) This is why I voted for direct care contracts. I believe those are a better deal for sole proprietors than association health plans.)
I get that costs are too high, but the association health plans are not the way to go. They could, indeed, lower costs for business owners, but they could be risky due to limited coverage. There are reasons why these plans will likely be cheaper. Remember the old adage “you get what you pay for”. If sole proprietor business owners want to take a risk with their own insurance and their own health, I have a mind to let them take their own risk. (Just don’t ask me to help you later with a Go Fund Me Request if it turns out I was right on limited coverage under cheap junk insurance plans.)
Where I object is when businesses are making these risky insurance decisions for their employees— just to save money.