The Arizona primary election will be held on August 26, 2014, but early voting starts today! Reproductive health care access has been under attack, both nationally and statewide, but Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona has endorsed candidates who have shown strong commitment to reproductive justice. To acquaint you with our endorsed candidates, we are running a series called “Meet Our Candidates.” Make your voice heard in 2014!
A fourth generation Arizonan, Rebecca Rios lives in South Phoenix with her husband and three children. Earning both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from Arizona State University, she used her social services experience to help set her priorities when she served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 1995 to 2001 and in the Arizona State Senate from 2005 to 2011. In addition to Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, Ms. Rios’ endorsements include organizations such as the Arizona Women’s Political Caucus, Emily’s List, Stonewall Democrats, Arizona Nurses Association, and Equality Arizona.
In 2014, Ms. Rios seeks to represent Legislative District 27, an area that includes portions of southern Phoenix, including Laveen and South Mountain.
She was kind enough to take the time for an interview on July 21, 2014.
The warrantless inspection bill “was a legislative ‘solution’ in search of a problem that did not exist.”
What kind of beneficial legislation would you like to see introduced, and why do you think it’s important to fight for it?
Arizona needs to address public school financing in Arizona so that we are adequately supporting public education, teachers, and providing students the resources necessary to succeed.
Why do you think it’s important that people make their own health care decisions?
The ability for women to make health care decisions without government intrusion is a personal freedom that must be protected at all costs.
Earlier this year, the state legislature passed HB 2284, which permits the health department to inspect abortion clinics without a warrant. What do you think about the need for heightened privacy and safety for patients seeking reproductive health services?
The need for heightened privacy and safety for women seeking reproductive health services is absolutely critical. HB 2284 was a legislative “solution” in search of a problem that did not exist. It was a bill based in harassment by anti-choice organizations and legislators.
Arizona Mayors released a report stating that high school dropouts cost the state $7.6 billion over the course of their lifetime. What do you think about the connection between teenage pregnancy and high-school dropout rates? Do you support comprehensive sex education?
I assume there is a correlation. Yes, comprehensive sex education is a must, and needs to begin early in grade school.
Why was it important for you to be endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona?
I am honored to have been endorsed by Planned Parenthood [Advocates of Arizona] throughout my legislative career. Planned Parenthood represents the basis for all legislation that respects women and their right to self-determination.