The Arizona primary election will be held on August 30, 2016. 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.” In order to vote in the primary election, you need to have been registered to vote by August 1. Missed the deadline? You can still register online for November’s general election. Make your voice heard in 2016!
When Rosanna Gabaldón and her family moved to Sahuarita in 2004, the town was transforming from a quiet bedroom community of a few thousand people to a town that, six years later, had a population of more than 25,000 people, according to the 2010 Census. Witnessing the evolving needs of her Southern Arizona town — and taking seriously the idea that she should give back to her community — propelled Gabaldón into the political career that she has now. In 2009, she was elected to the Sahuarita Town Council, and in 2012 she took her service to the regional level when she decided to run for Arizona State Legislative District 2, which covers an area from South Tucson to Nogales.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
As a State Representative, Rep. Gabaldón has been an advocate for women and reproductive health, earning the endorsements of Arizona List, the Arizona Women’s Political Caucus, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona.
Rep. Gabaldón is seeking reelection to continue representing LD 2, and she took time for an interview on July 31, 2016, to tell us more about her background and her campaign.
Since we last spoke in 2012, how has your commitment to serving Arizona grown? What has happened during that time to give you hope, and what has happened to strengthen your convictions?
My commitment to serving Arizona has increased. When I was first elected to the House of Representatives, I made a commitment to do my homework on the issues, and to take ideas from Southern Arizona to the Capitol. That is what Arizona needs, some common sense straight from the heart. In my second election in 2014, I recommitted to continue the fight for our values.
In this, my third election for the House, I am proud to report that I have served my constituents well. I have focused on improvements to public education, our community, economy, public safety, and natural resources. I proposed and supported legislation that will strengthen our economy, create jobs, and improve our schools while keeping reserves in place. I am delighted when my proposed bills on public safety and aging population passed through their assigned House committees, and passed through the House.
You voted against HB 2599, which lays the groundwork for Arizona to kick Planned Parenthood out of AHCCCS, our state Medicaid program. If that happens, AHCCCS patients couldn’t choose Planned Parenthood for their preventive health care and birth control needs. Do you think Planned Parenthood health centers play an important part in keeping Arizonans healthy?
Yes, I support Planned Parenthood health centers for keeping Arizonans healthy. Good preventive health care programs offer critical health care coverage for many Arizonans and add much to our state’s economy. The far-reaching economic benefits from Planned Parenthood programs contribute to the fiscal stability in Arizona’s health care system.
While you opposed HB 2599, your seatmate Chris Ackerley voted in favor of it. Do you believe his voting record is in line with the wishes of your constituents?
The voters of LD 2 are aware of our voting records and will make their support known in the general election. I have found the voters in LD 2 to be supportive of my voting record and the positions I have advocated for.
In the most recent legislative session, SB 1019 would have repealed legislation forbidding teachers from presenting same-sex behavior in a positive light or educating LGBTQ students about safer sex methods. Why do you think it’s so important for sex education in Arizona to be inclusive of all students?
Age-appropriate sex education is good for our students by preventing the great harm from unplanned births, transmission of STDs, and abuse. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Arizona made nationwide headlines when it passed a law requiring medication abortion to be administered using a protocol that is no longer supported by the FDA. As a lawmaker, what do you think your role is in legislating medical practices?
I will continue to work with my fellow legislators and advocate for the safety of our constituents.