The Arizona Department of Health Services will distribute monies appropriated for the family health pilot program for a statewide system to provide direct services, support services, social services case management and referrals. In addition, the Department of Economic Security will be appropriated funds for a statewide information and referral service for healthcare services, community services, human services and government services.
Bill Status:
2/6 Passed House Health and Human Services (5-4)
Bill History

01/27/20 House Second Read

01/23/20 Referred to Health and Human Services Committee

01/23/20 Referred to Rules Committee

01/23/20 House First Read

 

HB 2388 Introduced Version Here.

See the Parallel Senate Bill Tracker Here. 

House Health and Human Services Amended Version Here. 

Fact Sheet

Executive Summary

The Arizona Department of Health Services will distribute monies appropriated for the family health pilot program to a nonprofit organization to implement a statewide system to provide direct services, support services, social services case management and referrals to the biological or adoptive parents of children under the age of two, including unborn children. The purpose of the statewide system is to encourage healthy childbirth, support childbirth as an alternative to abortion, promote family formation, aid successful parenting, and increase families’ economic self-sufficiency. With the use of both a physical and virtual clinic, the program will be available to residents of all counties of the state.

In addition, the Department of Economic Security will be appropriated funds for a statewide information and referral service for health care services, community services, human services and government services. The statewide information and referral service may not refer for abortions, to abortion providers, nor financially support any entity that provides, pays for or provides coverage for abortions. This prohibition comports with existing Arizona laws.

The Family Health Pilot Program

The family health pilot program is designed to reach pregnant women who are seeking to have an abortion yet often are unaware of the services available to them or do not know how to access them. For these women, providing a supportive voice paired with meaningful assistance is enough to give them the confidence to choose to continue their pregnancy.

A similar program in Texas has found that the majority of women considering an abortion are doing so because of social or economic challenges: finances (66%), employment (57%), stable housing (46%), and transportation (19%). Of those women, 76% state that they would continue their pregnancy if not for those challenges.

Therefore, the program in Texas provides supportive counseling, comprehensive social services needs assessment, comprehensive care plan to address major needs, assistance identifying and accessing needed public and private social programs in client’s community, regular and ongoing follow-up, and virtual childbirth and parenting classes. By providing these services, 53% of clients choose to forego an abortion and instead continue their pregnancy.

In the Texas program, the monies are used for 1) direct-to-client advertising in a concerted outreach marketing effort to reach individuals not aware of the existence of alternative services; 2) personnel, including a team of registered nurses, social workers, and care agents; 3) operating expenses, including rent, utilities, software licenses, and other expenses related to program services; and 4) administrative expenses related to program management and oversight.

211 Community Service Referrals

The Department of Economic Security will be appropriated funds for a statewide information and referral service for health care services, community services, human services and government services. The department may provide the service directly or it may contract with a private entity. The entity providing the service must use 2-1-1 three-digit dialing access and be accredited through a national alliance relating to information and referral systems.

However, the service may not:

  • Include information regarding abortion or referrals for abortions or referrals to any entity that provides, pays for or provides coverage for abortions.
  • Financially support any entity that provides, pays for or provides coverage for abortions.

These prohibitions are in line with existing Arizona laws:

  • Prohibition on Use of Public Funds (A.R.S. § 35-196.02): Public funds may not be used to pay for an abortion except to save the life of the mother. Federal funds may be used when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. An Arizona Supreme Court decision, Simat v. AHCCCS, requires an exception for indigent women seeking a “medically necessary” abortion. Public funds may not be used for abortion training.
  • Abortion at State Universities Prohibited (A.R.S. § 15-1630): No abortion shall be performed at any facility under the jurisdiction of the board of regents unless “necessary to save the life of the woman having the abortion.”
  • Public Facilities (A.R.S. § 48-2212): County health service district facilities may not provide abortions or contract with an outside provider to perform abortions.
  • Charitable Tax Credits (A.R.S. § 43-1088): Abortion providers are disqualified from Arizona’s Charitable Tax Credit.
  • Health Insurance Exchanges (A.R.S. § 20-121): Plans that provide abortion coverage will not be included in any health insurance exchange created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Includes exceptions when “necessary to save the life” of the woman, “necessary to avert substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function” of the woman or “the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.”
  • Title X Family Planning Grants (A.R.S. § 36-145): DHS must apply for Title X funds and distribute any received funds as prescribed by A.R.S. § 35-196.05(A), which precludes distribution to abortion providers.

Talking Points

1.The family health pilot program is designed to reach pregnant women who are seeking to have an abortion yet are often unaware of the services available to them or do not know how to access them. For these women, providing a supportive voice paired with meaningful assistance is enough to give them the confidence to choose to continue their pregnancy.

2.Planned Parenthood receives millions in taxpayer money. It is time to put more money behind Arizona’s values of caring for women and their preborn children.

3.The program supports Arizona as a state that values life, and that values meeting the needs of pregnant women and their preborn children.

4.A similar program in Texas has found that the majority of women who seek an abortion do so because of social or economic challenges. By providing an array of services to assist with these challenges, 53% of the program’s clients choose to forego an abortion and instead continue their pregnancy.

5.For years, the policy of the state of Arizona has been to prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to perform, refer, or promote abortion. The funds appropriated for the family health pilot program and the 2-1-1 referral service are no different.

Conclusion 

The family health pilot program is a practical way for the state to meet the needs of pregnant women and their preborn children. A similar program in Texas has had outstanding results. Combining a concerted outreach marketing effort to reach individuals not aware of the existence of alternative services, with a care team of nurses, social workers, and caregivers has empowered half of the program’s clients seeking an abortion to continue their pregnancy.

The 2-1-1 statewide information and referral service will direct those in need to health care services, community services, human services and government services, but may not refer for abortions or to abortion providers.

 

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