ST. GEORGE — Days prior to the first anniversary of Roe v. Wade being overturned, Gov. Katie Hobbs and Rep. Athena Salman, D-Tempe, announced plans to introduce Arizona’s Right to Contraception Act during the next legislative session.
The bill would codify birth-control access for all Arizonans. During a news conference last week, Salman said “enough is enough,” because contraception is what she called “central to a person’s privacy, health and well-being.”
“At this historic juncture, my constituents and Arizonans in every single corner of the state are fortunate that this legislation has unequivocal support by our governor, Katie Hobbs,” Salman stated.
Salman noted while the piece of legislation has not yet been drafted, it will mirror recent federal legislation, which also aims to guarantee access to birth control regardless of Supreme Court rulings in the future.
Republicans do hold a slim majority in the Arizona Legislature, so if the measure fails, Salman pointed out Arizonans will know where Republicans stand on the issue.
According to the group Power to Decide, more than 450,000 women in the state are living at or below 250% of the poverty level in Arizona, and live in what the group calls “contraceptive deserts.”
Salman emphasized contraception is “especially critical for historically marginalized groups,” facing barriers exacerbated by social, political, economic and environmental inequities to reproductive health care.
“We are in a crisis right now, this is an emergency,” Salman asserted. “Arizonans right now have the right to know and have the right to have the peace of mind that when they go to bed, their contraception will still be available to them when they wake up in the morning.”
Salman added the state’s current laws allow medical providers to refuse to provide or prescribe contraceptives as well as information on birth control.
Written by ALEX GONZALEZ, producer for Public News Service.
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