News Politics

Fearing Funds Will Go to Planned Parenthood, Arizona Anti-Choice Groups Oppose Tax Hike

Robin Marty

Arizona anti-choice organizations are so focused on keeping money from Planned Parenthood that they're fighting against proposals that don't fund the group now—just in case it might get funded in the future.

Arizona has gone further than almost any other state to ensure that not one cent of tax dollars goes to Planned Parenthood. It’s proposing bills that would strip funding from groups that even refer to Planned Parenthood. If they do, the state would take away tax incentives for donations.

Two anti-choice state policy groups are currently fighting against a proposal to increase the sales tax by a penny to create more funding for state needs, as well as to support education and the poor. According to these groups, the funding might somehow be used to support Planned Parenthood, even if they aren’t sure exactly how, or when.

Via Capitol Media Services:

Proposition 204 would create a permanent one-cent sales tax surcharge, to kick in June 1, the day after the temporary levy approved by voters in 2010 expires.

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Most of the money is earmarked for public education, with other funds for road construction and health insurance for the children of the working poor. But there also is $100 million out of that first $1 billion for the fund that concerns Herrod [President of the Center for Arizona Policy Cathi Herrod] which a governor can allocate to “basic needs of children, families and vulnerable adults” whose income is less than twice the federal poverty level.

The initiative defines “basic needs” as preventing hunger, homelessness and family and domestic violence and providing child care.”

But Herrod said it is the rest of the definition that causes her heartburn.

“ ‘Other community services that lead to family stability and self-sufficiency’ could mean anything,” she said. And Herrod said a future governor — one not as opposed to abortion as Jan Brewer — could decide that includes some of the services that Planned Parenthood provides.

Sales-tax supporters accuse Herrod, as well as Arizona Right to Life, of making up reasons to oppose the tax hike and of framing their opposition to tax increases in terms of “abortion” politics in order to pressure voters.

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