October 5, 2014
Superintendent of Public Instruction Candidate David Garcia on His Opponent

“I don’t understand why you’re interviewing David Garcia,” a friend of mine told me earlier this summer when she learned that I was doing so. “I mean — wait. I understand why you’re interviewing him and not someone else — but I don’t understand why you’re interviewing someone for superintendent of public instruction for Planned Parenthood.”

Though I didn’t have the words to express it in the moment, I have had a lot of time since the first interview to ponder the idea.

Essentially, the conclusion I’ve come to is this: Planned Parenthood supports high quality education for everyone. When I go to a Planned Parenthood health center, knowledgeable professionals treat me with respect as a person, provide me with accurate and comprehensive information, and work with me to evaluate and apply that information to help me make the choices that are best for me.

Applied to students, teachers, and schools, that is basically David Garcia’s campaign platform in a nutshell. By getting away from our over-dependence on standardized testing — a setup where “teaching to the test” and leading students toward testing companies’ supposed “right answers” is heavily rewarded — educators can foster curiosity and critical thinking skills that give students a framework for seeking out and evaluating information in unfamiliar circumstances. While I hesitate to use “teacher clichés,” that really is a life skill that translates across multiple areas of life — from choosing a college (or other form of post-secondary pursuits) to re-evaluating a career move, from choosing a contraceptive method to evaluating whether an intimate partner relationship is showing signs of abuse. The skill is the same; it’s only the context that’s different.

And all of that is the antithesis of Diane Douglas’ positions.  Continue reading

June 11, 2014
Six Things Arizona Is Doing Right

These days, Arizona might be infamous for restrictive abortion laws and trying to legalize anti-LGBT discrimination, and a lot of us are fed up! There are some positive things happening in this state too, though, so take a walk on the bright side and check out our blog!

Read about advances in transgender rights, protecting victims of domestic violence, expanding Medicaid, maintaining a higher minimum wage, promoting body acceptance, and bringing comprehensive sex education to some of our schools!

April 9, 2014
Q&A With Our New Director of Public Policy, Jodi Liggett

On January 6, Jodi Liggett joined Planned Parenthood Arizona’s team as the director of public policy. She will work with communities to advocate for reproductive health and rights, and will collaborate with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona to reach out to voters and legislators to advance a vision of greater access to comprehensive sexuality education, family-planning services, and abortion care. In a state where lawmakers are so hostile to these objectives, Jodi has a lot on her plate!

In the following Q&A, Jodi addresses the recent controversy regarding comprehensive sex education in Tempe high schools, and names some of the bad bills that have already been proposed so far in the 2014 legislative session. And, with the gubernatorial elections slated for later in the year, she talks about her hopes for the future — an Arizona government that actually reflects the will of Arizonans, the majority of whom support Planned Parenthood’s mission.

Welcome aboard, and I hope your first month with us has been a positive experience! Please tell us a little about your background and what makes you so passionate about protecting everyone’s access to sexual and reproductive health care.

I am thrilled to join the Planned Parenthood family, and feel like this role is the culmination of many years working on behalf of Arizona’s women and vulnerable populations. When I graduated from law school in the late ’90s, I worked as legislative staff on welfare reform — a huge policy change that affected tens of thousands of poor single mothers struggling to raise their children. Later, I worked in Gov. Jane Hull’s administration as her policy adviser for human services. In both roles, my biggest successes came from finding common ground, avoiding partisan posturing, and working from the middle. Continue reading

April 17, 2012
Stop the War on Birth Control!

House Bill 2625 is back! People in Arizona are standing up to lawmakers who are out of touch and over-reaching when it comes to women’s health. And we are asking for your help again to contact legislators about HB2625, which will prevent women from accessing birth control. At the federal level, there’s already a provision that allows religious employers to opt out of providing birth control, but that’s not good enough for Arizona’s anti-women’s-health legislators.

Click here to act now!

HB2625 requires women to prove that they are not using birth control for contraceptive purposes before their employers will cover it. The original bill was so bad — even the far-right Center for Arizona Policy couldn’t get it passed — and the new changes don’t make the bill any better. Allowing religious schools, hospitals, and service organizations to opt out of coverage only increases the ability of more organizations to discriminate against women and families who are working hard to make ends meet. We need you contact our legislators to tell them that HB2625 is a threat to women’s health and is unacceptable.

Discriminatory language in HB2625 still allows employers to fire women who use birth control to prevent pregnancy, even if they pay on their own. Birth control is a part of women’s care. The Institute of Medicine recommended that birth control be included as a preventive health care benefit, because it is fundamental to improving women’s health and the health of their families.  It saves lives, helps prevent unintended pregnancies, improves the outcomes for children, and reduces abortion. Continue reading

March 13, 2012
A Celebration of Life: Arizonans Observe National Native American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Tuesday, March 20, 2012, is National Native American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NNHAAD). Started in 2007, NNHAAD is focused on promoting HIV education, prevention, and testing among Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, a former professor at the University of Arizona who is now director of Indian Health Service, has called NNHAAD a day to “celebrate our successes and plan how to best continue working in partnership to address HIV and AIDS among Native people.”

READ MORE: http://blog.advocatesaz.org/2012/03/13/a-celebration-of-life-arizonans-observe-national-native-american-hivaids-awareness-day/

March 12, 2012
ATTENTION ARIZONANS! Your Reproductive Rights Hang in the Balance THIS WEEK!

The political assault on women’s health care that has overwhelmed America in recent weeks is reaching a climax in Arizona THIS week.

No less than six bills that will make it harder or even impossible to get various women’s health care services are being voted on in committee hearings in these five days.

Every one of these bills is poised to become law if we don’t fight back NOW and LOUDLY.

The Arizona legislature and media need to know women are paying attention, fighting mad, and will remember every legislator who supports these bills on election day.

Birth control, medically necessary abortion, and even accurate information for women are all at risk.

If you are like me, you find it hard to believe our Arizona politics have come to this, especially when our state and its residents are facing so many real, grave challenges.

But, just as we’ve seen 116,000 Texas women lose access to family planning, Arizona women are next in the firing line TODAY.


READ MORE: http://blog.advocatesaz.org/2012/03/12/this-week-say-goodbye-to-birth-control-and-religious-freedom/

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