Progress often comes in small, but significant, steps. This legislative session, we enjoyed a series of steps on our journey to protect life and freedom. Lawmakers passed a record 15 CAP-supported measures – a true victory for Arizona families.
A step toward defunding Planned Parenthood
The budget passed by lawmakers and signed last week into law by Governor Ducey includes a provision that ends the deceitful practice by some clinics of overcharging taxpayers via the Medicaid system by up to ten times the amount for medication. Planned Parenthood not only admitted the move would have a “significant” effect, but went on to defend the practice of virtually stealing from taxpayers. A Planned Parenthood spokesperson was quoted as saying, “This is how billing has worked … everybody’s got their revenue streams. Everybody’s got to keep the lights on.” This budget item will defund the abortion giant by an estimated $200,000 a year.
Lawmakers also empowered the state to hold such violators accountable. Through the Taxpayer Protection and Medicaid Integrity Act, clinics that continue to overcharge Medicaid for drugs, fail to report the sexual assault of a minor, or fail to segregate taxpayer dollars from abortions can be removed from the Medicaid program altogether.
A second chance at life
Too many women have anguished over the decision to choose abortion. Few know that they can possibly reverse the effects of the abortion pill if they have taken only the first of the two-pill process. Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers must now inform regretful women that the first pill is not always effective – something Planned Parenthood admits in court but has hidden from women in the past. Abortion clinics must also immediately refer the woman to a physician if she would like more information.
Dignity for the preborn
In one of the most significant steps, Governor Ducey signed an historic law prohibiting the sale, experimentation, and research of aborted remains in Arizona. Not on our watch will Planned Parenthood and other clinics be able to peddle tiny livers and other organs on the open market. The Center for Medical Progress videos pulled back the curtain for all to see the callous actions happening inside clinics.
College: A place to speak freely
A student at Paradise Valley Community College simply wanted to hand out copies of the U.S. Constitution. Yet the bureaucrats said no. Thankfully, Arizona lawmakers responded by strengthening an already-existing law to ensure that blatantly illegal actions like this by school officials cannot continue. This measure also prohibited the creation of so-called “free speech zones” on public university and community college campuses.
More money for those in need
Another new law doubles the amount Arizonans can give through the state Charitable Tax Credit for organizations serving the working poor. Qualifying charities include many pregnancy resource centers, rescue missions, and substance abuse ministries like Teen Challenge. This means individuals can now contribute up to $400 a year and couples can give up to $800 a year while receiving a dollar-for-dollar tax credit. Lawmakers also created a new and separate tax credit for foster care charities with limits of $500 for individuals and $1,000 for married couples. This new credit will benefit agencies like Christian Family Care.
These victories provide protections and freedoms, as well as encourage more care for the least among us. But they are also building blocks on which to grow as we fight for life, marriage and family, and religious freedom. We’re grateful to Gov. Ducey and the Arizona Legislature.
ICYMI – Latest News & Articles of Interest
- Center for Arizona Policy released its Family Issues Voting Records! Check them out here and see how your legislators voted on key life, marriage and family, and religious freedom issues.
- Prop 123 was too close to call election night but the education funding measure seems to have prevailed. Governor Ducey claimed victory late Thursday.