Planned Parenthood Ends Abortions at 70% of Its Arizona Clinics


Starting today, Planned Parenthood will end abortion services in seven Arizona clinics, to comply with a recent state law that severely restricts access to abortions.  There had previously been ten Planned Parenthoods in the state that offered abortion services, but now Arizona is down to three.  All of the remaining clinics are in Tucson and Phoenix, raising questions about whether women in rural areas will be able to access abortions at all.

The decision to end abortion services at the clinics came after an appeals court upheld restrictions placed on abortion facilities back in 2009.  This included a 24-hour waiting period for abortion services and a requirement that surgical abortions be performed only by a doctor.  The state enacted an even broader wave of restrictions earlier this year, banning nurse practitioners from providing medical abortions, which are (as their name suggests) performed using medications, not instruments.

According to the Arizona Daily Star, “the requirements of both the 2009 and 2011 laws leave Arizona Planned Parenthood with just six full- and part-time doctors to handle nearly 100,000 abortions a year, including a new state mandate for face-to-face doctor meetings with patients ahead of time.”

This is clearly an impossible task for the doctors, so Planned Parenthood has no option but to remove abortion services from all but three of its clinics.  Family planning will still be available at all of its locations, however, which Bryan Howard, the president of Planned Parenthood Arizona, says is more important now than ever.

Howard says that many abortion doctors face harassment, making more doctors unwilling to take on the job.  ”When word gets around, as it does in the health-care community, about facing that kind of risk for yourself and your family, I think some medical professionals think twice,” he said.

The Arizona legislature is leaving the state’s women in a terrible situation.  Planned Parenthood may seek review of the 2009 law by the Arizona Supreme Court, but even if they are successful in blocking the law judicially, Arizona politicians should stop attempting to encroach on Arizona women’s ability to access abortion.  If women can’t get to an abortion clinic easily (especially with the 24 hour waiting periods), abortion might as well be illegal.

Related Stories:

Over Thirty Anti-Abortion Laws Enacted During April

ACLU Sues to Block Kanses Abortion Bill

Texas Funnels Tax Dollars to Pro-Life Organizations

Photo from Dave Fayram via flickr.


LMj Sunshine
James Merit5 years ago


Eddie C.
Past Member 6 years ago

How horrific for the world.

Lila Bennefield-Lowrey

Please use every form of birth control available. No pregnacies, no unwanted babies. Well, it's the theory, and it works to keep down the population better than just having an abortion if you do get pregnant.

Xil Lidom
Xil L6 years ago

7 billion mark around the corner putting tremendous strain on environment, job market and economy and now this...scandalous and ignorant! Wake up call!

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

The article ends with the thought that, though abortion is still legal, if you restrict access to it, it's as if you've made it illegal. There aren't words to express how angry these anti-abortion people make me. It is a woman's private decision, each woman's private decision. She has already gone through the crisis of finding out she's pregnant, and then decided to end her pregnancy FOR HER OWN PRIVATE REASONS, and then there are numerous roadblocks to trying to get to a provider who can help her. This is a woman's legal right, and no one else has the right to step in and stop her.

Deborah L.
Deborah L6 years ago

How about all of those forced to birth babies be left by the mothers at the hospitals. Sign them over to the state as it looks like the state wants them more anyway. That way, maybe more intelligent minds might prevail in the future when trying to deny women the right to their own bodies.

James Moore
James Moore6 years ago

This is unfair, if women can't get access to abortions the population will skyrocket which is bad.

Adrienne Brietzke

The far-right terrorists who push for this type of return to the medieval ages have no conscience or boundaries when it comes to controlling others. The worst of that whole hypocrisy is that so many of them go under the banner of "christian." Ha! Guess they never got that the "golden rule" about treating others as they'd isn't a menu to apply where it suits you. I submit that what is now needed in AZ is a law that requires all men to submit to sterilization. Because we say so. That's as reasonable as justifying the denial of abortion to women. And it accomplishes their supposed agenda - cutting down on abortions!

Lin Penrose
Lin Penrose6 years ago

Down with males, women, all governments and religions who want to Own the lives, bodies, and minds of females and children. We females need to do determined revolts against those who would own us. Arizona is definitely Not a state to live in if you are female, have a mind and the sense to know it. Take your intelligence and all your resources somewhere else where you are appreciated for who You are. Not just some reproductive piece of equipment and source of future taxpayers and soldiers for wars and owned by others.

Kathryn B.
Kathryn B6 years ago

Now what?!! Reverting to the back alley BUTCHERS who KILLED so many women and unborn children?!! This is a trend WE ALL must fight back against. EVERY woman has the RIGHT to have control over her reproductive life. I will say it AGAIN, if MALES had to deal with this there would be no issue. Politics has NO BUSINESS being involved in this! This is yet another step BACKWARD for women and women's rights in the US.

ANY vote for these whack job right-wing fundamentalists is a vote for pushing us closer and closer to the kind of lives women and girl children are forced to endure in the middle east. THEY are NO DIFFERENT than the "fundamentalists" we CLAIM to hate so much "over there." Guess what?! They are "over here" too!