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]arbara McGuire is a lifelong resident of Arizona, though with recent redistricting, the exact number of her district has changed. Born in Ray-Sonora, Arizona, she served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2006 to 2010, representing the former Legislative District 23. She is currently seeking election to the Arizona Senate in the newly drawn Legislative District 8, an area that extends as far north as Globe, as far south as Oracle and San Manuel, as far east as the border of Graham County, and as far west as the I-10 corridor.
Rep. McGuire graciously took the time for an interview with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona on October 3, 2012.
“People should be able to make their own health care choices.”
Tell us a little about your background.
As a third generation Arizona native, District 8 has been a big part of my life. I grew up in the Copper Corridor, gained hardworking values in a multi-ethnic mining community, raised my children in the same town, and now spend summers with my grandson in the same community. My mother, brother, and my in-laws all have homes within a few minutes of mine. All the places in District 8 encompass this fantastic sense of family.
Being rooted in the district is an essential element of this position. As I raised my family, I also opened a travel agency, a people-based business. As times have changed, I put more effort into working as the Salvation Army extension unit director for the Copper Corridor and surrounding area. This makes a great difference to many families in need that may otherwise be forgotten because they live in rural areas. I received Salvation Army’s Distinguished Service Award and in 2004 I was named Citizen of the Year by the people in my hometown. It has been an honor serving four years in the House of Representatives. All honors that I truly appreciate!
My goal in seeking to be elected is to be able to continue to give back to all of the communities throughout my district as the chosen voice for the district. As the choice for the state senator in District 8, I will be able to represent the needs of my peers in this district. Because I have spent my lifetime in the district, I am well acquainted with a majority of the issues that need to be addressed. I am a moderate Democrat, businesswoman, and Salvation Army director with decades of service to rural Arizona communities. I have expertise in natural resources, military affairs, public safety, community support, long-term care, as well as in many other issues. My motto of “EAR — efficient, accountable, responsive” government will continue as my guiding philosophy. If elected, I will work to improve state and local economies, create jobs, improve our kids’ education, address real estate recovery, growth, quality-of-life issues, and keep government off our backs.
In this capacity, should I be elected, it would be such an honor to continue representing the people of LD 8. My gratitude will extend well past a heartfelt thank you as I strive to make a positive difference for everyone.
Can you tell us a little about how health care access — in terms of available resources, distances to those resources, residents’ income levels, different population needs, etc. — looks in your district?
Most communities in District 8 have a clinic within 30 minutes. Four communities have hospitals and some, not all, have air evac [emergency medical transport by air]. Unknown if telemedical is established anywhere in the communities as of yet.
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?
Legislation that prevents infringement on health care choices.
Why do you think it is important that people make their own health care choices?
People should be able to make their own health care choices. They know best their own needs. We do not need a formulated one-size-fits-all approach, because it does not.
Why do you support comprehensive sex education in our schools?
Comprehensive sex education in our schools will help eliminate unwanted and premature pregnancies as well as help prevent dangerous spread of STDs that have a lifelong consequence.
In a survey submitted to the Center for Arizona Policy, your opponent Joe Ortiz indicated that he supported prohibiting abortion except when necessary to prevent the death of the mother — without including any exceptions for rape, incest, or protecting other facets of a woman’s health. How would you respond to that?
Ortiz’s response is obviously not one of a person of knowledge on women’s health issues.
Why was it important for you to be endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona?
A majority of women in my district agree with and support Planned Parenthood, as do I.
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.