Planned Parenthood Arizona resumes abortion services at Tucson facility
PHOENIX — For the first time since a Supreme Court ruling in June put abortion decisions into the hands of states, Planned Parenthood Arizona is providing the procedure again.
The health care provider is offering abortions at its Southern Arizona Regional Health Center in Tucson.
The move comes after an Arizona judge heard the state’s request to enforce the 1901 ban on abortion which currently on the books.
Brittany Fonteno, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona, said there were a couple of reasons the decision to resume abortion care was made.
One was legal clarity.
In June, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said his office would ask the court to vacate an injunction put in place after the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. Removal action would allow an abortion ban to go into effect. Brnovich also concluded that a 1901 abortion ban was the law of the land.
“The legal limbo that was created by Arizona’s anti-abortion politicians was strategic and intentional,” Fonteno said.
Fonteno said another big part in making the decision was having providers willing to perform the procedures.
Many providers were faced with anxiety and uncertainty on whether they would face criminal charges if they performed an abortion.
“We really wanted to respect all of our providers decisions about whether they felt comfortable providing abortion care during this legal limbo period of time,” Fonteno said.
Planned Parenthood Arizona plans to expand its abortion care throughout the state over time as it gets more providers that are willing and feel safe to work.
“The reality is also that as the state’s largest reproductive health care provider, restarting abortions services unfortunately isn’t as quick and simple as turning on a light switch,” Fonteno said.
Planned Parenthood said the response has been overwhelmingly welcoming and positive.
“For the past two months, a lot of people have been forced to leave their home state, going to either California, New Mexico or other parts of the country to still receive this health care so I know that for many people this was a welcome breath of fresh air,” Fonteno said.