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

The Supreme Court Ruling on the Affordable Care Act – A Victory for Women

Editor’s Note: The following piece is a guest blog post from Planned Parenthood Arizona President and CEO Bryan Howard.

The Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act marks a critical victory for women’s health, and the health of all Americans: Millions of women and families will have improved access to affordable, quality health care; many previously had inadequate coverage or no coverage at all.

At Planned Parenthood Arizona, we expect how this law will have an unprecedented effect on women’s health. The law guarantees women direct access to ob/gyn providers without referrals, and ends discriminatory practices against women, such as charging women higher premiums and denying coverage for “pre-existing conditions.” And in just six weeks, insured women will gain access to birth control without a co-pay — which will be a tremendous benefit for already stretched family budgets.


Every dollar invested in federal family planning saves taxpayers nearly $4.


Since August 2010, more than 45 million women have already received full coverage for preventive health screenings, including mammograms and Pap tests. With this ruling, 17 million more women will have access to health insurance for the first time, beginning in 2014. And millions more young adults will be able to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans, just like the 3.1 million young adults who have done so since September 2010. Continue reading

Governor Brewer Is Imposing Her Beliefs on Arizonans

Editor’s Note: The following piece is a guest blog post from Planned Parenthood Arizona President and CEO Bryan Howard.

Gov. Jan Brewer isn’t shy about her goals. She wants to give government and employers power over women’s private medical decisions. She wants to undermine women’s access to reproductive health care. And she wants to take away public funding from every single Planned Parenthood health center in Arizona.


“I do not support the goals of Planned Parenthood. They believe in choice. So let’s just cut right through the fat and tell it like it is.” — Gov. Jan Brewer


Opponents of women’s health in the Arizona legislature have done everything they can to give Gov. Brewer whatever she wants. In the face of these relentless attacks, providing care to Arizona women and families has become more difficult than ever.

But I’m not giving up on our patients, and I’m not giving in to Gov. Brewer’s bullying. Neither are the doctors, nurses, staff, and volunteers at Planned Parenthood Arizona health centers. Arizona women continue to make their way to our 14 health centers to protect their health, and our doors will be open to them no matter what. And attacking Planned Parenthood in Arizona is attacking Planned Parenthood everywhere. Continue reading

Planned Parenthood’s Thoughts and Prayers Are with Rep. Giffords

PPAA volunteers, Cheryl Cage, and Nancy Young Wright with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords during 2010 campaign season

PPAA volunteers, Cheryl Cage, and Nancy Young Wright with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords during 2010 campaign season

Statement from Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Bryan Howard, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona, on shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords:

“The thoughts, wishes, and prayers of the entire Planned Parenthood family are with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona and all of the victims of the tragic shooting incident in Tucson, Arizona on Saturday. Congresswoman Giffords is an invaluable and indefatigable advocate and public servant whom we respect for her courageous leadership on behalf of the people of Arizona and women everywhere. She is a fearless champion of health care for all Americans, and she played a vital role in the passage of the most important health care legislation in our nation’s history. She is a close friend of Planned Parenthood, and our staff and supporters in Arizona and across the country fervently hope for her recovery. We mourn all who were killed in this tragedy, and we will keep their families in our thoughts and prayers.”

Please feel free to leave your wishes for Rep. Giffords in the comments section.

Why Is PPAA Involved in Arizona Politics?

n1071468739_9926The Legislative session recently began, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona expects challenges similar to those we saw last session. If we are a reproductive health care and education provider, why do we get so involved in politics? Wouldn’t we be better off saving our resources?

PPAA’s president Bryan Howard recently explained why Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona is so involved in the legislative process:

While most supporters tell me they understand the necessity of Planned Parenthood’s public policy involvement, others wish we’d avoid this arena, preferring instead that PPAZ limit its focus to the health care and education that have been the centerpiece of our work for 75 years here in Arizona. Continue reading

PPAZ President Resigns from Governor’s Commission on Women’s and Children’s Health

Recently, Planned Parenthood Arizona’s president and CEO, Bryan Howard and Candace Lew, OB/GYN and PPAZ board chair, resigned their respective memberships on the Governor’s Commission on Women’s and Children’s Health. This resignation was a result of numerous decisions Gov. Jan Brewer and her administration made that endanger women’s health and undermine the work of the Commission.

“Planned Parenthood Arizona believes strongly in the importance of the Commission’s mission and work. Indeed, the Commission was created by Governor Jane Hull following our recommendation,” said Howard.

The letter sent to Gov. Brewer cited that for the governor, political priorities outweigh women’s health priorities. The governor’s actions are deliberately contrary to the recommendations made by public health leaders who have donated their time and best thinking to the women and families of Arizona through their participation in the Commission’s deliberations on critical issues including teen pregnancy and inadequate access to basic prevention-oriented health care. Click here to read the full letter.

Harmful decisions made by Gov. Brewer and her administration, include: Continue reading