The Arizona general election will be held on November 6, 2012, with early voting starting on October 11. After the many recent legislative challenges to reproductive health care access, both nationally and statewide, the importance of voting in November 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 spotlighting our endorsed candidates in a series called “Meet Our Candidates.” To vote in the general election, you must register to vote by October 9 — and can even register online. Make your voice heard in 2012!
Dr. Janie Hydrick has served Arizona as a public educator for the past 45 years. Additionally, she has held several leadership positions in professional organizations, including the National Education Association, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the American Association of University Women, and the National Council of Teachers of English. Dr. Hydrick now seeks to use that experience to represent Arizona’s Legislative District 18 — encompassing part of the southern Phoenix metro area — in the Arizona State Senate.
She took the time for an interview with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona on September 14, 2012.
“I was always aware of how critical women’s health was, not only to the individual woman and her family, but to the health and economy of the country.”
Tell us a little about your background.
I’ve been a public education classroom teacher for 45 years and still teach part-time at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. My husband, son, daughter, and I have lived in Arizona for three decades, and we welcomed my first grandchild two months ago. His parents want for him what we want for every Arizonan: a safe neighborhood, a quality public education, quality health care, and a quality job when he’s ready to enter a global, 21st-century workforce.
In the previous legislative session, there were a lot of bad bills that negatively affected access to birth control (HB2625), funding for family planning (HB2800), abortion (HB2036), and unbiased information about unintended pregnancies in public schools (SB1009). What kind of beneficial legislation would you like to see introduced, and why do you think it’s important to fight for it?
Beneficial legislation is legislation that protects a woman’s right to make decisions that impact her health, her body, and her family. Women, not the government, should be making those decisions with their loved ones, their faith, and their doctors.
Why do you think it is important that people make their own health care choices?
People know best how the health care choices they make will impact all the myriad aspects of their lives and the lives of others.
Why do you support comprehensive sex education in our schools?
Students cannot make informed, thoughtful decisions if they are not knowledgeable about the wide range of consequences for each of their actions.
Why was it important for you to be endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona?
My mother, my daughter, and I have been blessed with medical insurance programs that covered preventive health care. As a survivor of breast cancer and ovarian cancer, I want the same opportunities for preventive health care available to other mothers and daughters. Additionally, women should have access to family planning and contraception.
In a survey submitted to the Center for Arizona Policy, your opponent John McComish responded that he opposed adding “sexual orientation, “gender identity,” or “gender expression” as protected classes in Arizona antidiscrimination law. Particularly with respect to hate crimes and school bullying, how would you respond to that?
Any group that suffers from discrimination should be protected. There is a tragically, outrageously high number of children and adults who suffer hate and bullying because of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Protecting those classes specifically in antidiscrimination law would be sending a strong message that those individuals are a valued thread in our national fiber and that discrimination against them — or any other group — will not be tolerated.
Is there any additional information that you’d like your constituents and other Arizona voters to know about you, especially when it comes to reproductive health and health care access?
I was born and grew up in Lima, Peru, where my father was establishing public health programs for the United Nations as he had done in India and Indonesia. I was always aware of how critical women’s health was, not only to the individual woman and her family, but to the health and economy of the country. My father’s entire life as a doctor was dedicated to raising the quality, access, and individual control of women’s health. I witnessed firsthand the direct correlation between the health and economy of a country and the access that the women of the country have to quality health care.
If you’d like to learn more about Dr. Hydrick’s campaign — including endorsements and positions on other issues — you can check out her campaign website at HydrickForAZ.com and her Facebook page, Hydrick for State Senate.
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.