Catholic and pro-life advocates praised Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer for signing into law a bill that bars taxpayer funding for organizations that provide abortion.
“We’re absolutely thrilled that Governor Brewer has signed this into law,” Ron Johnson, executive director of the Arizona Catholic Conference, told EWTN News May 7.
“We can make sure that any loopholes are closed and that abortion providers like Planned Parenthood or anyone else are not getting any taxpayer funding, directly or indirectly.”
Johnson explained that direct funding for abortions is already banned, but the new law’s backers were concerned that funds for other purposes would give financial support to abortion providers. He said that Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocates are “very creative” about securing taxpayer funding.
Brewer signed the measure May 4 at the Susan B. Anthony List’s Regional Campaign for Life Reception in Scottsdale. The group aims to help elect pro-life candidates to office.
“This is a commonsense law that tightens existing state regulations and closes loopholes in order to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to fund abortions, whether directly or indirectly,” Brewer said.
“By signing this measure into law, I stand with the majority of Americans who oppose the use of taxpayer funds for abortion.”
The law bars the state and any local government from using public money in contracts with organizations that provide abortions. The measure also exempts organizations that provide abortions in cases of rape, incest or endangerment of the mother’s life, the Arizona Republic reported.
Planned Parenthood of Arizona has opposed the bill, arguing that the legislation is intended to target the organization and its non-abortion services, such as cancer screenings and birth control.
The governor’s office, however, said the bill prioritizes the distribution of public family-planning funds to health-care entities that provide “comprehensive care for women.”
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, praised the bill, saying that Arizona “is leading the charge to protect women and young girls by prioritizing taxpayer funding for entities that provide comprehensive health care, not abortion.”
Former Colorado Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave, vice president of government affairs for the pro-life organization, also lauded the measure. She said “abortion-centered businesses like Planned Parenthood do not need or deserve taxpayer dollars.”
Johnson noted that the law’s provisions restricting abortion provider funding should inspire others.
“This is a good model to go by,” he said, adding that the bill is the latest of many abortion restrictions in Arizona.
One 2012 law bars abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy except in case of medical emergency. Another law bars public or charter schools from providing material or instruction that promotes or recommends abortion.
Johnson said, “It’s been a very good year for pro-life legislation in Arizona.”