As your state representatives, we stay current on policy issues all over our country. One of the most troubling is the attack on Planned Parenthood. Some in our state and national government want to prohibit them from providing health care in our community and stop us from being able to choose our own health care provider. It is apparent there is a lack of knowledge and information about this important health care provider.
Planned Parenthood has been an essential provider in Arizona for over 75 years, serving 64,600 patients per year in the greater Phoenix area with life-saving cancer screenings, prevention and treatment of STDs, birth control and emergency contraception, sexuality education and more. These critical services account for more than 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood provides to men, women and families in our community.
In these tough economic times, Arizonans deserve access to affordable health care with the provider they choose. Preventive care is the key to keeping people healthy to enable them to support their families. This nonprofit provider puts all its revenue back into the services provided right here in Arizona. A majority of patients pay very little or nothing for these critical services, with Planned Parenthood only being reimbursed for a percentage of the actual cost for the services. And, in many cases, Planned Parenthood may be a woman's primary care provider, in fact, her only health care provider.
Access to Planned Parenthood's preventive services do just that - prevent disease and unplanned pregnancy. The cost of which is much higher than providing care, which ultimately saves lives and money. Through federal programs for those who qualify, Planned Parenthood provides essential prevention services to tens of thousands of patients every year.
The most important factor in this policy debate is that politicians should not be choosing your health care provider, you should. As state legislators, we choose Planned Parenthood and will fight to make sure you get to choose your health care provider, not the Legislature.
Ben Arredondo and Ed Ableser
Arizona State Representatives (District 17)