The Legislative session recently began, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona expects challenges similar to those we saw last session. If we are a reproductive health care and education provider, why do we get so involved in politics? Wouldn’t we be better off saving our resources?
PPAA’s president Bryan Howard recently explained why Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona is so involved in the legislative process:
While most supporters tell me they understand the necessity of Planned Parenthood’s public policy involvement, others wish we’d avoid this arena, preferring instead that PPAZ limit its focus to the health care and education that have been the centerpiece of our work for 75 years here in Arizona.
Our politics specifically focus on the ability to provide health care and education. Whether or not you are a political enthusiast, I think remembering another date almost 94 years ago reminds us all that Planned Parenthood has been thrust into politics since our very founding.
On October 26, 1916 – ten days after Planned Parenthood opened its first storefront clinic in Brooklyn, New York – plain clothes policeman arrived to arrest staff and close the clinic.
You can draw a straight line from that day almost 94 years ago to just last year when Governor Jan Brewer banned Planned Parenthood from dispensing information about contraception, sexually transmitted infection prevention and early breast and cervical cancer detection at two State of Arizona-sponsored health fairs in Phoenix.
Planned Parenthood has the historical experience to defend women’s health care. That’s why Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona is, and will continue to be, involved in the legislative process.