Groups Challenge Ariz. Law Targeting Donations To Charities That Support Abortion Rights

October 27, 2011 — The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence on Wednesday requested a preliminary injunction against a state law (HB 2384) that prohibits residents from claiming tax credits for donations to charitable organizations that directly or indirectly support abortion, the Arizona Republic reports. The law is scheduled to take effect at the end of the year.

Under the law, Arizona residents cannot claim the state's Working Poor Tax Credit for donations to organizations that "provide, pay for, promote, provide coverage of or provide referrals for abortions," or financially support any entity that does. The tax credit allows claims of up to $200 for individuals and up to $400 for married couples filing jointly (Beard Rau, Arizona Republic, 10/27). The law also forbids the use of state or federal funds and student tuition to train medical professionals to provide abortion services (Women's Health Policy Report, 8/19).

ACLU of Arizona and the domestic violence coalition say that the law violates their freedom of speech and could put survivors of intimate partner violence in danger. "The bill puts many organizations, including the domestic violence coalition, in this difficult position where they have to decide between receiving donations and being able to provide care to the women they serve," Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of ACLU of Arizona, said. "The state is basically saying if you provide these women with information about abortion, you are going to lose resources that help you keep your doors open," she added (Arizona Republic, 10/27).