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!
[B]orn in Cleveland, Ohio, David Butler came to Arizona in 1993 with a degree in political science from Ohio State University and an interest in politics that has spurred his involvement in many campaigns. Earlier this year Butler launched his own campaign, seeking to represent Legislative District 25 in the House of Representatives. Located in Maricopa County, LD 25 includes much of Mesa, where Butler lives with his wife Vivian.
“A woman, not politicians, should make the informed decisions when it comes to her own reproductive rights.”
Because of his positions on women’s health and choice issues, Butler has received an endorsement from Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona. He generously took the time for an interview with PPAA on September 26, 2012.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Cleveland, Ohio into a typical middle class family. I graduated from the Ohio State University with a B.A. degree. I majored in political science. I moved to Arizona in 1993. I met Vivian and we were married in 2000. Between us we have four grown children and nine grandchildren. I am a self-employed wholesale distributor and sell products to local grocery chains.
You’re running against Rep. Justin Olson, who sponsored HB2800, which Planned Parenthood called a bill that “attempts to prevent Planned Parenthood from providing services to AHCCCS and Title X patients and prohibits any governmental entity from entering into a contract with or making a grant for family planning to any organization that performs abortions.” How would you respond to Olson’s involvement with this bill?
I would respond to Rep. Olson’s involvement in HB2800 by stating that the bill is an invasion of women’s reproductive rights. I believe that it is wrong to prevent Medicaid-eligible women from seeking routine preventive services, even from providers that also offer abortions. A woman, not politicians, should make the informed decisions when it comes to her own reproductive rights.
You’re also running against Rep. Justin Pierce, who expressed strong support for HB2838 at the House Health and Human Services Committee. Known as the Mother’s Health and Safety Act, it bans abortion after 20 weeks. He also opposes laws that protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation. What are your thoughts on the damage his positions do to sexual health and reproductive freedom?
I always thought that Roe v. Wade made abortion legal in the U.S. We need to respect the real life decisions that women and their families face every day. That should include the right to have an abortion after 20 weeks if the mother’s health would be compromised.
In contrast to the bad bills supported by your opponents in the previous legislative session, what kind of beneficial legislation would you like to see introduced, and why do you think it’s important to fight for it?
I believe that gays and lesbians have the right to love whomever they desire to and should have the same rights and privileges that are granted to any other married couple.
Why do you think it’s important that people make their own health care choices?
I believe that people should be able to make their own health care choices. That is the result of the liberties granted and the freedom to live the way one wants, without government interference.
Why do you support comprehensive sex education in our schools?
I support comprehensive sex education in schools so that young people can be taught to make choices that make sense to them when it comes to their body and their future.
Why was it important for you to be endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona?
It was a very proud moment for me when I received word that I was being endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona. PPAA is a fine organization that provides a broad range of services that keep women healthy. It makes my views public on all the good things done by Planned Parenthood.
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.