One in 6 women reported having an abortion at some point in their lives, according to a 2011 report from the Guttmacher Institute. The vast majority of those women, however, still receive abortion services. And according to recent reports from Planned Parenthood and Pro-Choice America, up to 60 percent of women who need abortion care could receive that care even if they don’t get services at a health center.
“A lot of people go to the clinic for routine contraceptive services because it’s the closest thing, it’s convenient,” Dr. Deborah Nartker, Planned Parenthood’s vice president of Medicaid and community clinics, told me. “That’s one of the things we want in our clinics, because we want our patients to have this choice — if they go into the clinic, they can get their medication, they can get health care.”
Planned Parenthood provides health care services to women, so a lot of providers make money from patient health insurance and other payments — so many that some Planned Parenthood providers have lost money since the Affordable Care Act went into effect last year. So Nartker said she doesn’t have an easy choice.
“It’s something the state is asking to subsidize,” she said. “So we will have to work with the state to do all kinds of different things, we’re doing things that we’ve been asked to do for a long time.” And in the long run, not everyone will get a discount and receive abortion care.
Still, abortion provider groups say that the health department needs to work with Planned Parenthood to make their services more accessible to all women in the state.
“We look forward to a conversation with the state of Arizona on how they can make their state more affordable for everyone,” said Nartker.
But there are certainly reasons to be skeptical of the state’s new proposal. The first reason: While the state’s new rules might make clinics more efficient, the new requirements would also force some clinics to close their doors and lose business. Those closures are going to impact people who rely on reproductive services like birth control and cancer screenings.
“I’m going to have to close down,” said Jody, a health services worker in Tucson who wanted to remain anonymous, “and I think everybody is going to feel like it.”
The second factor, though, is that the state’s anti-abortion proposal could have a far smaller effect than it’s led one to believe at first glance. The AP reported that in 2014
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