The Arizona primary election will be held on August 26, 2014, and early voting began on July 31. 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!
Along with her extensive experience in education, Dr. Janie Hydrick, whom Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona also interviewed in 2012, has deep roots in her community. She has lived in Legislative District 18 — an area that includes Ahwatukee, as well as portions of Tempe and Chandler — for the past 22 years. She currently lives there with three generations of her family: her husband, her daughter and son-in-law, and her grandson. Dr. Hydrick seeks to represent the 18th legislative district in the Arizona Senate in order to foster economic development, support education, advance access to affordable health care, and protect vulnerable community members.
She graciously took the time for an interview on July 13, 2014.
“… Ignorance and fear rather than information and understanding have driven too many of our policies.”
How has your commitment to serving Arizona grown over the past two years? On the policy level, what has happened during that time to give you hope, and what has happened to strengthen your convictions?
On a national policy level, I have seen polls and demonstrations increasingly in favor of women’s rights to reproductive freedom. As a candidate at the legislative district level, I have seen a groundswell of support for women’s rights and increased outrage with people who pronounce their marginalization and denigration of women. Politicians who are out of sync with the majority of Americans will see their misogynistic policies and platforms fail them in 2014 and 2016.
Earlier this year, the state legislature passed HB 2284, the warrantless inspection bill, 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?
HB 2284 is a blatant violation of women’s privacy and safety with no purpose other than to legislate anti-abortion beliefs through intimidation. When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down abortion clinic buffer zones in Massachusetts, they violated women’s privacy and safety by providing free rein to anti-choice violence, harassment, and interference with patient access. The U.S. Supreme Court’s egregious Hobby Lobby decision violated women’s privacy and safety by leaving women’s reproductive rights and choices to the vagaries of their employer’s religious beliefs. Women have rights to reproductive health choices as men do, and their choices should be protected by privacy and safety, as men’s are.
In June, an appeals court affirmed the right to perform medication abortions up to nine weeks in accordance with an evidence-based protocol, when the state legislature wanted abortion providers to use a more restrictive, outdated method. Why is it important that politicians leave the practice of medicine to doctors?
Our state legislature has legislated policies that have had negative impacts on Arizonans’ health, education, safety, and welfare because those policies were based on opinion and ideological stance rather than fact or professional expertise. Misinformed policies in each of those areas can have negative, dire, even life-or-death effects in the short and long terms.
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?
The connection between teen pregnancy and high-school dropout rates is supported by research; and further, the Centers for Disease Control’s data indicates that teen pregnancy brings substantial social and economic costs through immediate and long-term impacts such as increased health care and foster care, increased incarceration rates among children of teen parents, and lost tax revenue because of lower educational attainment and income among teen mothers. Only about 50 percent of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by 22 years of age, versus approximately 90 percent of women who had not given birth during adolescence.
The children of teenage mothers are more likely to have lower school achievement and drop out of high school, have more health problems, be incarcerated at some time during adolescence, give birth as a teenager, and face unemployment as a young adult.
Last year, the Tempe Union High School District voted to implement comprehensive sex education in its schools. Do you consider this a victory, and if so, how would you work to advance a similar development statewide?
As an educator, parent, and grandparent, I am shocked and dismayed at the degree to which ignorance and fear rather than information and understanding have driven too many of our policies. Data regarding the correlation between comprehensive sex education and dramatic reductions in teen pregnancy and STDs are a compelling argument to implement comprehensive sex education in our schools. A statewide effort calls for education of parents, educators, and school board members; and that education must include knowledge of the dramatic impact a comprehensive sex education program will have in reducing teen pregnancy and STDs, an understanding of what comprises a proposed sex education program, and a strategy for parents and educators to work together to support the students.
If you’d like to learn more about Dr. Janie Hydrick’s campaign — including her other endorsements and more detailed positions on other issues — you can check out her campaign website. You can also follow her on Facebook and on Twitter, @hydrickforaz.