POLICY IN THE PERIPHERY
Exploring the Impacts of Abortion Restrictions in Rural Arizona
While abortion remains legal in Arizona, getting an abortion is not the same process for everyone. Factors like where you live, how much money you make, whether or not you have access to reliable transportation, and so much more can affect if and how you’re able to obtain care. That — paired with unnecessary laws that target providers — makes Arizona one of the most difficult states to get an abortion.
The Abortion Fund of Arizona receives phone calls from people needing financial assistance for their abortion care every day. Now, we want to better understand how place and policy impact the experiences of real people seeking abortion across the state.
CAN YOU HELP?
We are building a network of supporters in Arizona who want to improve access to reproductive healthcare and abortion throughout the state. We are looking for:
Through conversation and collaboration, we aim to reach people across Arizona who can speak to the quality and accessibility of reproductive healthcare in their region. By listening to the needs of former abortion patients and those who were never able to access care, we hope to bring this information to policymakers and community leaders to support future legislation that will help pregnant people and their families, not hurt them.
WHAT WE'RE UP AGAINST
ARIZONA'S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTHCARE LANDSCAPE
Arizona is the 6th largest state in the United States, with an estimated population of 7,278,717 people – 352,770 living in rural Arizona. Outside of Maricopa County, the next two largest metropolitan cities are Tucson and Yuma, with approximate populations of 548,073 and 100,198 respectively.
The state faces some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country that include a mandatory counseling appointment and ultrasound, followed by 24-hour waiting period; a law that limits who can preform abortions to only medical; and prohibits the use of telemedicine to administer medication abortion.
With only 4 independent abortion clinics located in Maricopa County and 4 Planned Parenthood Health Centers in the state that provide abortion up to 16 weeks (located in Flagstaff, Glendale, Tempe and Tucson), there are many barriers to obtaining an abortion, especially for those who live outside of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. People living in Rural Arizona may be traveling anywhere between 2 and 6 hours to the nearest clinic; if they have the resources to travel, they will also have to arrange lodging for 1 - 3 nights due to the mandatory waiting period, find childcare solutions if they are already parents, and could have to take unpaid time off work.
WE'RE COLLECTING DATA TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
The Abortion Fund of Arizona has been collecting demographic data from pledge recipients across Arizona since 2017. From this information, we’ve seen a clear need to better serve rural Arizonans seeking abortion that goes beyond funding. With increasingly strict regulations on abortion, it’s become apparent that rural Arizonans are disproportionately affected.
The purpose of this project is to gather qualitative data about the experiences of rural Arizonans who have sought abortion. At the same time, we want to build a movement across the state to support those in need of abortion. Over the next few years, we will be building a report to inform and support future policy and repeal anti-abortion legislation to improve access to care throughout the state.
POLICIES THAT NEED TO CHANGE
Arizona’s lawmakers have passed legislation that harshly target abortion patients and providers. These laws, combined with geographic and financial barriers, make obtaining abortion care a long, expensive and taxing experience.
Do you live in Arizona and are passionate about building the reproductive justice movement in our state? If so, we want to hear from you, regardless of your county or zip code!
Getting involved with Policy in the Periphery is easy, and it all starts by filling out a short survey. From there, one of our volunteers will reach out to you personally to gain a better understanding of your background and interests.