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It just got harder in Arizona to get access to health services at Planned Parenthood. That state's governor Jan Brewer recently signed a law -- oddly named the Whole Woman's Health Funding Priority Act -- that prohibits any taxpayer money from going to any services provided by Planned Parenthood, including non-abortion services.
Arizona has long had a ban on state money going to fund abortions, but Planned Parenthood still received funds for cancer screenings and other reproductive health services. So why cut off low-income women from getting access to birth control and Pap smears? Brewer, a long-time opponent of Planned Parenthood, and other conservatives in her state believe that providing any money to Planned Parenthood, even for preventive health services, indirectly supports abortions. But in a state where 20 percent of the women have no health insurance, Planned Parenthood is a vital resource for medical care.
The ongoing national debate over this kind of funding is increasingly becoming a hot button issue and some Democrats believe they can use this one to leverage an Arizona win for the President Obama, as well as for the Democratic senate candidate, in November.
See where Arizona ranked in iVillage's Best and Worst States for Women survey and why it earned its ranking!
You can read more from iVillage iVote Editor and Correspondent Joanne Bamberger at her blog, PunditMom. Joanne is also the author of the Amazon bestseller Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook!