McCain Can’t Airbrush His Anti-Women Record

“Decades of attacks on women’s health can’t be erased by a last-minute ploy”

Phoenix, AZ – After suffering mounting criticism from women across Arizona for his sustained support for Donald Trump — who was caught on camera condoning sexual assault — John McCain is attempting to minimize his abhorrent record on women’s health. McCain is facing a tight reelection against Ann Kirkpatrick. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona today issued a harsh rebuke of McCain’s recent political pander: a newly formed group “Women for McCain.”

McCain’s record includes having voted against at least 55 pieces of women’s health legislation, despite health care access in Arizona being among the worst in the country.

Quote from Bryan Howard, President, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona

“John McCain can’t airbrush his year-long support of Donald Trump and the Presidential candidate’s disgusting behavior towards women. Nor can McCain airbrush his own record of voting repeatedly against women’s health and safety. John McCain has voted to defund Planned Parenthood at least eight times, pushed extreme bills that use religion as a reason to allow employers to deny women health care coverage, and voted over and over again to make it harder for women to obtain safe, legal abortions.

“Women can’t afford Trump’s abhorrent behavior towards women nor a Senator who let Trump’s behavior slide for over a year. This year at the ballot box women will hold John McCain accountable for working against Arizona’s women.”
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Five Years Later: Reflections on the 2011 Tucson Shooting

The following guest post comes to us via Edna Meza Aguirre, regional associate development director for Planned Parenthood Arizona. Edna is a native Tucsonan, bilingual and bicultural. She received her JD from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and worked in the area of criminal defense for 12 years before changing careers.

Gabby Giffords with Planned Parenthood Arizona's president and CEO, Bryan Howard, at a 2010 event in Tucson

Gabby Giffords with Planned Parenthood Arizona’s president and CEO, Bryan Howard, at a 2010 event in Tucson

On Saturday, January 8, 2011, at 7:04 a.m., Jared Lee Loughner began his day at a Tucson Walmart. He purchased ammunition for his semi-automatic handgun, a 9 mm Glock pistol. Sometime around 7:34 a.m., he was pulled over for running a red light. When his check revealed no outstanding warrants, he was given a warning and allowed to go.

Two and half hours later, he arrived at a Tucson Safeway grocery store, stood about four feet from U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, aimed his gun, and shot her in the head. He didn’t stop there. By the end of his shooting rampage, 14 people were injured and six families were left to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives as they planned funerals for the six victims murdered that morning. Among the dead, a 9-year-old girl, Christina-Taylor Green, and the Honorable Judge John Roll, chief judge of the U.S. District of Arizona.


“The agony of that day drove home for me that ‘safety’ can be an illusory term.”


Loughner’s Glock also ended the lives of Dorothy “Dot” Morris, Phyllis Schneck, Dorwan Stoddard, and Gabriel “Gabe” Zimmerman. An aide to Gabby, Gabe was the first congressional worker to die in the line of duty.

Christina-Taylor had a burgeoning interest in our political system. Rep. Giffords was hosting a “Congress on Your Corner” event, created precisely for members of the public like Christina-Taylor, who wanted to learn more about their government. Christina-Taylor had come into the world on a painful day — September 11, 2001. She had been featured in the book Faces of Hope: Babies Born on 9/11. Her spunk and joy provided invaluable happiness to all around her. A child born on a tragic day was to meet with Gabby so she could learn how to contribute to her world. Christina-Taylor had just been elected to her student council.  Continue reading

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