Planned Parenthood filed suit Monday to block a new abortion law scheduled to take effect next month.
Current law already bars the use of public funds for abortions. The new measure forbids the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the state's Medicaid program, from paying for any other services to any organization that also provides abortions. Attorneys for Planned Parenthood said that's not fair, saying it provides everything from pap smears and breast exams to tests and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. About 5 percent of those who visit the clinics are Medicaid patients. But Rep. Justin Olson who crafted the measure said it is necessary to ensure that tax dollars are not indirectly funding abortions.
"If you're in business and you have two different components of your business, if you increase the other component of your business, then that helps fund the entire operations of that business," he argued. "And it's the same with Planned Parenthood. If you have more of these other services that are not abortion services being financed by the taxpayers to Planned Parenthood, then that helps offset the costs of abortions."
Fairness aside, the lawsuit says the move is an illegal infringement on the rights of Medicaid patients to get the care they need from any willing provider. The organization wants U.S. District Court Judge Neil Wake to keep the law from being implemented as scheduled on Aug. 2.