The Arizona primary election will be held on August 28, 2012. With so many recent legislative challenges to reproductive health care access, both nationally and statewide, the importance of this election year can’t be overstated. To help voters, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona has endorsed candidates who have shown strong commitment to reproductive health and freedom. Along with those endorsements, we are running a series called “Meet Our Candidates,” spotlighting each Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona-endorsed candidate. To vote in the primaries, you must register to vote by July 30 — and can even register online. Make your voice heard in 2012!
This edition of “Meet Our Candidates” focuses on Bruce Wheeler, who is seeking to represent Tucson’s Legislative District 10 in the Arizona House of Representatives for a second term. Wheeler graduated from the American High School of Quito in Ecuador, received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arizona in International Relations in 1972, and later received his M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix. Additionally, he is the proud parent of two sons who graduated from MIT and Stanford and are now pursuing exciting and productive careers of their own.
“No one should interfere with a person’s right to make his or her own medical and health care choices.”
In various capacities, Wheeler has been serving Tucson-area residents for decades. In 1987, he was elected to the Tucson city council, where he served two terms. After that, he worked for the Tucson Airport Authority, from which he retired in 2006 after serving as the director of energy management.
On July 9, 2012, Wheeler shared his views on health care education, access, and empowerment in this exclusive interview.
What women’s health care issues do you think should be addressed in the legislature?
All women’s health care issues should be addressed by the legislature. Reproductive health care is the most controversial and I stand strongly for a woman’s right to make her own choices regarding all aspects of health care, including reproductive health care without interference from anyone or any institution or any law that interferes with that right. The right to choose is her own right.
Why do you think it is important that people make their own health care choices?
No one should interfere with a person’s right to make his or her own medical and health care choices. The individual is most knowledgeable and best prepared and has the most at stake in those very personal decisions. Often times a health care choice, such as the need for an abortion, is very difficult to make and the seriousness of such a decision should be made without outside pressure or interference.
Why do you support comprehensive sex education in our schools?
Comprehensive sex education in our schools is necessary because it is realistic and based on fact and because it is informative. The importance of parental guidance cannot be overestimated, but in too many cases such guidance is missing and therefore it is necessary for our youth to understand the realities of sexuality, including all the facts associated with the decisions and consequences of sexual behavior.
Why was it important for you to be endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona?
Planned Parenthood provides millions of women in our country with a wide variety of health care services that they would otherwise not have. I stand proud with the mission of Planned Parenthood and will defend, support, and legislate to further that invaluable mission. Planned Parenthood [Advocates of Arizona]’s endorsement is important for me to be counted as one of its millions of supporters nationwide, particularly at a time of such ideologically motivated attacks against us, what we stand for, and the critical services the organization provides.
You can learn more about Bruce Wheeler or donate to his campaign by visiting his website at BruceWheeler2012.com. With all the redistricting that’s taken place this year, you might not even know what legislative district you’re in — but you can click here to find out! And, regardless of which legislative district in Arizona you live in, you can contact us if you’d like to volunteer for an endorsed candidate in your legislative district.