July 19, 2016
"Arizona: If at first you don't succeed (at interfering with women's health care) try, try, and try again," Jennifer Lee, American Civil Liberties Union's "Speak Freely": Even though a similar 2012 state law (HB 2800) was struck down, Arizona officials are again trying to "deny low-income women the right to obtain reproductive health care from their chosen provider by allowing the state to exclude qualified physicians from the Medicaid program simply because they provide abortions," Lee writes. According to Lee, the American Civil Liberties Union, which successfully challenged the 2012 state law, is now challenging the latest law (HB 2599). Lee explains that under the law, the only way for physicians who provide abortion care "to remain in the Medicaid program is to either stop providing abortion, or to try to comply with the law's vague and complicated requirement, which applies only to abortion providers." She writes that while this law targets abortion providers, "those who will really suffer are Arizona's low-income women," who "will have even fewer [health care] options if the state kicks their providers out of the Medicaid program." Lee concludes by noting that not only have federal courts struck down every state effort to exclude abortion providers from Medicaid, but the federal government has cautioned "states that targeting abortion providers in this way is illegal" (Lee, "Speak Freely," American Civil Liberties Union, 7/14).