New Arizona law bars public funds from Planned Parenthood
LOS ANGELES — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill barring any public money — city, county or state — from going to Planned Parenthood, a decision that she says closes loopholes for funding abortions.
The bill, known as the Whole Woman's Health Funding Priority Act, tightens existing state regulations "to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to fund abortions, whether directly or indirectly," Brewer, a Republican, said in a statement Friday after she signed it into law.
Arizona's Republican-led Legislature passed other reproductive health care bills during a 116-day session that ended Thursday, including a measure Brewer signed last month banning most abortions after 20 weeks.
Arizona already bans providing tax dollars for abortion unless the mother's life is at stake, and Planned Parenthood argues that the new law essentially stifles health care for women on Medicaid.
"The problem is the state does not actually contract with Planned Parenthood or any health care providers," Bryan Howard, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood Arizona, said Saturday.
About 4,000 women on Medicaid — 10 percent of Planned Parenthood Arizona's patients — will be affected by the law, Howard said.
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