A Warm Thank You to Planned Parenthood Arizona CEO Bryan Howard

bryans-head-shot-2It’s been our tradition to start the new year off by thanking you — our Planned Parenthood supporters. You are the heart and soul of Planned Parenthood and you stand with us no matter what. Your commitment, bravery, and generosity means so much to the entire Planned Parenthood community. It’s because of you that Planned Parenthood health center doors are open today, and will remain open for years to come.

As we begin this particular New Year — and continue celebrating Planned Parenthood’s 100th anniversary — we ask you to help us thank our visionary leader, Bryan Howard. Today is Bryan’s 20th anniversary as CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona. Bryan has made it his life’s work to further Planned Parenthood’s mission and has inspired all of us to join with him to serve Arizona’s women and families.

Bryan joined us on January 2, 1997, when he was only 36 years old, after having served various roles at Planned Parenthood in Chicago since 1984. 

During his tenure, he has led the agency successfully through a merger, an economic recession, and too many political and anti-choice attacks to mention. Today, thanks in large part to Bryan’s steady leadership, Planned Parenthood Arizona is resilient and strong, ready to weather the next storm that is just around the corner. Continue reading

Opening Day Rally #NoCrAZy

#NoCrAZy

Opening Day Rally For Common Sense Solutions!

Economy * Equality * Education * Elections * Environment

Opening Day at the Arizona Legislature is next Monday, January 12, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona invites you to join dozens of Arizonans and a diverse coalition of organizations to stand up for equality, education, health care, reproductive rights, fair pay, fair elections, and justice. Organizations and activists will hold a rally and press conference to present common sense solutions for Arizona’s most pressing needs.

The rally begins at 10 a.m. at the Rose Garden on the north side of the old Arizona State Capitol at 1700 W. Washington Street. A press conference begins at 10:20 a.m. at the same location. Please bring as many friends and supporters as possible!

Show up! Be heard! Make change!

If you are unable to attend, please help share and amplify the messages on social media using the hashtag #NoCrAZy.

Thank You 2014 Luncheon Attendees!

Dear 2014 Luncheon Attendees:

Thank you for supporting Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona’s 2014 I Stand luncheon. We are tremendously grateful for the wonderful feedback we have received about the event — as well as all the generous donations. Thank you for helping us “Make it Happen in 2014”!

This year’s event was unashamedly political. That focus, and our speakers’ urgency, is driven by today’s reality. For many of the 45,000 women, men, and young people who come to Planned Parenthood Arizona each year — and many thousands more like them across our state — the challenges to access accurate health information and medical services are real and increasingly insurmountable.

I want to address our Republican supporters who may feel personally criticized when  Planned Parenthood Advocates and I take aim at Republican legislators who are leading the assault on women’s health care. This is not the Republican party of the past. I was raised in a Republican family. My 83-year-old mother was an elected Republican author of the modern Illinois state constitution when, in 1970, she successfully defeated a proposal to include an abortion ban. My hope is that we will again see a day when candidates on both sides of the ballot support Planned Parenthood’s vision and values.

Most of us who support Planned Parenthood are motivated by our interest in providing hands-on health care and education. When we think of Planned Parenthood, we think of hope-filled futures in which young women and men can complete educations, get jobs, and raise healthy families. The gritty reality of working in the political trenches wasn’t in our plans.

I am grateful that Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona has endorsed Felecia Rotellini, Terry Goddard, and Fred DuVal because these individuals clearly recognize the crossroads at which Arizona finds itself with respect to sexual and reproductive health and rights.

In my remarks at the opening of these events, I cited my profound concern for the health and futures of the 96,000 young Arizonans who will enter their teens in 2014. I know that you share my concern. Thank you for standing with Planned Parenthood.

Sincerely,

Bryan S. Howard
President

Take Action: Extremists Won’t Stop at SB 1062. Everyone Is a Target.

Your action is urgent. Here is what you can do now to stop the Legislature’s war on Arizonans.

Once again, extremists controlling the Arizona legislature have made our state a national laughingstock. Their “religious freedom” bill, SB 1062, pushed by the Center for Arizona Policy, essentially legalizes discrimination against LGBT citizens and other Arizonans.

This hateful and divisive legislation never should have seen the light of day; it is unbelievable that it has made it to the Governor’s desk.

Unfortunately, it is part of a larger pattern in which well-funded interest groups with narrow social agendas, aided and abetted by extremist legislators, pass unconstitutional laws that damage our state’s reputation and cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

This destructive cycle didn’t begin with SB 1062. The Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) and their legislative allies have long had Planned Parenthood and the women we serve as their targets. Just this session they are pushing clinic inspection legislation, HB 2284, which would open the door to government harassment of women seeking health services and those providers who serve them. The barrage of bills that attack women and reproductive health care has been seemingly endless over the last three years — and, to what end?

Just in the last two months, Arizona has taken two CAP bills all the way to the Supreme Court, where they were refused review: HB 2036, the 20-week abortion ban, and HB 2800, which attempted to deny women with Medicaid coverage the right to access health care services at a provider of their choosing. Indeed, three times in the last three years CAP and their allies have been thwarted in court with their costly litigation. Who pays the bill? Arizona taxpayers. We all pay, once for the Attorney General who defends these unconstitutional laws, and again, when Planned Parenthood and others are awarded attorney’s fees. Over time, CAP and their lackeys in our legislative and executive branch are costing Arizona millions of dollars.

Worse, anyone or any group can be the target of such extreme ideology — not just Planned Parenthood and not just our LGBT friends.  Make no mistake — CAP’s target is you or someone you love. Today, they prey on LGBT individuals and women; tomorrow it will be someone else. SB 1062 is a clear sign of what is to come with its sweeping allowance for discrimination.

Just when we were finally recovering from the damage inflicted by SB 1070, our state again is in the headlines. This is not the state Arizonans want. It doesn’t have to be this way.

There are three things you can do right now to stop this madness:

1) RIGHT NOW — Tell Governor Brewer to VETO SB 1062. Email the Governor, and copy her staff as listed below:

Governor Janice K. Brewer — azgov@az.gov or http://azgovernor.gov/contact.asp

Chief of Staff Scott Smith — ssmith@az.gov

Director of Policy Michael Hunter — mhunter@az.gov

2) NEXT MONTH — Plan to attend the Planned Parenthood I Stand events occurring around the state. The funds raised at these events go directly to our efforts to educate voters and elect moderate, common-sense public servants who focus on priorities supported by most Arizona voters — not the agenda of conservative extremists.

See details at www.advocatesaz.org

3) NOVEMBER — Remember, things won’t change until we change who’s in office.  Register to vote and exercise your right this November 4!

Special Message from Planned Parenthood Arizona President and CEO Bryan Howard

bryan headshot 600In 2011, Planned Parenthood Arizona was forced to stop providing abortion care at a number of our health centers due to legislation that made the provision of this care nearly impossible. Our health center in Flagstaff was one of them.

For the past two-and-a-half years, women living outside of Pima and Maricopa counties have encountered miles of travel, days of wages lost, and several nights away from loved ones in order to access this safe and legal medical procedure. These barriers, created by politicians who have no business interfering with a woman’s personal medical decisions, were faced and overcome by many women — but not all.

After ending abortion care at our Flagstaff Health Center in 2011, we are grateful to have the opportunity to bring this care back to the community. The Flagstaff Health Center is once again providing medication abortion.

Here is a quote from Beth Otterstein, WHNP, our excellent health care provider at the Flagstaff Health Center who has served the community in her capacity for more than 20 years:

“Northern Arizona women who have come to our health center over the last two years have expressed heartache when they learned that abortion was not available in their community. These are the stories that kept us determined. We are fortunate to be able to once again serve the needs of women in this community.”

While this is good news for the women of Northern Arizona, it is important to remember that so many unnecessary barriers continue to exist for women throughout Arizona.

Policymakers are now targeting Planned Parenthood Arizona and other abortion providers in the state with a bill (HB2284) that would allow unannounced inspections of health centers by the Department of Health Services.

Abortion providers are already subject to a number of laws and regulations, including some that specifically pertain to inspections of health care facilities. This bill only further opens the door to harassment of abortion providers and goes too far, by allowing inspections without the safeguard of a warrant requirement.

For decades, Arizona was a state that protected a woman’s right to make personal decisions about her own health care. But for the last three years, we have been a state where politicians institute laws at the insistence of extreme ideological lobbying groups who do not provide medical services, and the result has been disastrous for women’s health and rights.

They won’t stop and neither will we.

Stand with us as we work tirelessly to ensure that women and their families have access to the tools and resources they need to lead healthy lives.

Q&A With Our New Director of Public Policy, Jodi Liggett

jodiOn January 6, Jodi Liggett joined Planned Parenthood Arizona’s team as the director of public policy. She will work with communities to advocate for reproductive health and rights, and will collaborate with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona to reach out to voters and legislators to advance a vision of greater access to comprehensive sexuality education, family-planning services, and abortion care. In a state where lawmakers are so hostile to these objectives, Jodi has a lot on her plate!


“The most effective thing we can do is advocate for comprehensive and accurate sexuality education.”


In the following Q&A, Jodi addresses the recent controversy regarding comprehensive sex education in Tempe high schools, and names some of the bad bills that have already been proposed so far in the 2014 legislative session. And, with the gubernatorial elections slated for later in the year, she talks about her hopes for the future — an Arizona government that actually reflects the will of Arizonans, the majority of whom support Planned Parenthood’s mission.


Welcome aboard, and I hope your first month with us has been a positive experience! Please tell us a little about your background and what makes you so passionate about protecting everyone’s access to sexual and reproductive health care.

I am thrilled to join the Planned Parenthood family, and feel like this role is the culmination of many years working on behalf of Arizona’s women and vulnerable populations. When I graduated from law school in the late ’90s, I worked as legislative staff on welfare reform — a huge policy change that affected tens of thousands of poor single mothers struggling to raise their children. Later, I worked in Gov. Jane Hull’s administration as her policy adviser for human services. In both roles, my biggest successes came from finding common ground, avoiding partisan posturing, and working from the middle. Continue reading

Join Us for Pink Out Day (#PinkOut) on March 29!

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In the wake of continued threats to health-care access, what is Planned Parenthood doing? We’re getting louder and prouder! How? Our next big thing is Pink Out Day (#PinkOut) tomorrow, March 29! Learn more about #PinkOut Day at our official Pink Out Day Facebook Event Page.

Here’s how you and your followers can help Planned Parenthood #PinkOut the Internet on Wednesday, March 29.

  1. Use the #PinkOut hashtag. Use the campaign hashtag #PinkOut to show you #StandWithPP. Sample tweet: I’m joining Planned Parenthood to #PinkOut the Internet. I #StandWithPP & the 2.5 million who rely on them.
  2. Join the Thunderclap. Sign on to our Thunderclap and we’ll post a one-time message in support of Planned Parenthood to your social accounts on March 29.
  3. Pink Out your Twitter/Facebook page. You can change your profile image to include our pink overlay and #IStandWithPP hashtag using our Twibbon.

Continue reading