by Jim Nintzel
Planned Parenthood Arizona, which had to shut down abortion services at all but three of their 13 health centers in the state in August, announced this morning that it will be able to once again offer abortion service at two additional locations in Maricopa County. But women in rural Arizona will still have to travel to either the Phoenix area or Tucson because the organization is still not able to offer abortion services in Flagstaff, Yuma or Prescott Valley.
The press release from Planned Parenthood:
Planned Parenthood Arizona told reporters this morning at a press conference that the organization is once again ready to meet the need of Arizona women seeking abortion care.
Thirteen weeks ago, women facing unintended or high-risk pregnancies were confronted with enormous challenges when trying to find a health care provider due to new restrictions imposed by the legislature that banned many medical professionals from providing abortion care.
With physicians coming forward to assist the organization in meeting new abortion restrictions that went into effect in September, Planned Parenthood Arizona has succeeded in adding physicians in Phoenix and Tucson, providing abortion care now at five of its 13 statewide health centers.
The organization has worked diligently to identify physicians in rural communities to provide abortion health care, but has, thus far, been unsuccessful. Women in rural communities are able to access prevention care at their local Planned Parenthood health center, but will have to travel to Phoenix or Tucson to access abortion care.
“The creators of this law hoped barriers would discourage women from getting abortions,” says Bryan Howard, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Arizona. “The truth is these restrictions have nothing to do with health and safety, and everything to do with politics. But a woman’s need for abortion and family planning care doesn’t go away just because extremist law makers and the opponents to women’s health they represent try to legislate it out.”
“We are fortunate that physicians and supporters stepped forward so we could meet the need,” adds Howard. “But, we are very worried about the significant burdens women from other communities face in travelling to Phoenix and Tucson. Abortion care in Arizona has and will remain safe, legal and accessible for women and families.”
As a nonprofit medical provider that has been in Arizona for 76 years, Planned Parenthood is committed to continuing to provide comprehensive reproductive health services at all of its 13 health centers in Metro Phoenix, Tucson, Prescott Valley, Flagstaff and Yuma.