Today, Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-07) and Planned Parenthood Arizona hosted a roundtable discussion on the status of reproductive healthcare in Arizona.
"Nearly four months after the Dobbs decision ripped away reproductive rights, the pain is only continuing to grow for women in Arizona" said Rep. Gallego. "Arizona's state lawmakers, the attorney general, and the governor have intentionally created legal chaos with confusion over the state's draconian territorial ban. Hearing from these powerful women today, it is clear to me that the situation in Arizona is dire, but the fight isn't over. We must continue to push back and protect the healthcare of every woman in Arizona."
"While 87% of Arizonans support abortion rights and access, yet our anti-abortion politicians and judges continue to put politics over patients time and time again with no regard for the will of the people," said Brittany Fonteno, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona. "Abortion has always been and will always be a part of people's reproductive lives and a determining factor in their reproductive destinies. As a mother and a woman of color, I know that in order to attain equity in health and in life, our communities need more access to health care -- not less. The fundamental right to abortion care in Arizona must be permanently restored."
The roundtable included testimony from medical providers, healthcare advocates, and Arizonans who had to leave the state to seek medical care because of confusion and uncertainty over the territorial-era near-total abortion ban in Arizona.
In July, Rep. Gallego voted for H.R. 8296, the Women's Health Protection Act and H.R. 8297, the Ensuring Women's Right to Reproductive Freedom Act. The bills are now under consideration by the U.S. Senate.
The Women's Health Protection Act ensures health care providers have a statutory right to provide abortion care and patients have a statutory right to receive that care, free from state bans and restrictions that are only intended to impede or block access.
The Ensuring Women's Right to Reproductive Freedom Act ensures no person acting under state law can prevent, restrict, impede, or otherwise retaliate against a person traveling across state lines to obtain a lawful abortion. This includes vigilantes who could be empowered by states to seek out a person for obtaining an abortion.