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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.

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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:

Social and Reproductice Justice advocates, healthcare providers, and pro-choice supporters who want to help develop this work within their communities.

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Individuals living outside of the Phoenix Metro area who are open to sharing their experience of accesing abortion care.

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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

Geographic barriers

There are currently only 7 abortion providing facilities in Arizona, and 6 of those are located in Maricopa County. The Planned Parenthood Center in Tucson only supports up to 15.6 weeks gestation, and the facility in Flagstaff only provides consultations as of May 2020. 80% of Arizona counties do not have an abortion provider nearby and many patients must either travel to Phoenix or out of the state to get care.

Financial Obstacles 

Like any other medical procedure, abortions are expensive. The expense begins at $500 and increases to well over $2000, based on gestational stage. Arizona’s medicaid and all private insurers do not cover the cost of care. Although Arizona does not provide abortion care beyond  the second trimester, anyone who chooses to travel and have a procedure later in pregnancy will have to spend over $10,000 out-of-pocket.

Restrictive policies

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 offer abortion services, making it physician only; and prohibits the use of telemedicine to administer medication abortion. If the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, Arizona has trigger laws on the books that would make abortion illegal unless the pregnant person’s life were in danger, and a law criminalizing birth control.

COVID-19 Related Risks

With the Coronavirus outbreak, traveling and entering medical facilities now pose unique risks. Abortion providers need to take new measures to rensure the safety of their patients and staff, and there are many unknown factors in our future. We need to make sure already limited access isn’t further impacted. We have already witnessed covid-19 delaying abortion care, as many are choosing not to travel for fear of the virus, are self-isolating, or have lost income due to unemployment from the virus and cannot afford procedure expenses.

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.  

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TELEMEDICINE BAN

 

Arizona Revised Statutes Title 36. Public Health and Safety § 36-3604 

 

This law prohibits healthcare providers in Arizona from using telemedicine to provide an abortion.

HOW THIS IMPACTS US 

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PHYSICIAN ONLY TRAP LAWS

 

Arizona Revised Statutes Title 36. Public Health and Safety §§ 36-2155

Surgical abortions can only be preformed by an individual who is a physician.

Arizona Revised Statutes Title 32. Professions and Occupations §§ 32-1606

This law prevents the Board of Nursing from allowing registered nurse practitioner or certified nurse midwifes to include abortion in their scope of practice.

Arizona Revised Statutes Title 32. Professions and Occupations §§ 32-2501(11), -2531,-2532

A physician assistant may not preform a surgical abortion or administer medication abortion.

HOW THIS IMPACTS US 

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Judicial bypass law

 

Arizona Revised Statutes Title 36. Public Health and Safety  §§ 36-2152

People under the age of 18 are required by law to get the consent of a parent or legal guardian in order to obtain an abortion in the state of Arizona. If parental consent is not obtained, the individual can alternatively seek a judicial bypass before getting an abortion.

HOW THIS IMPACTS US 

GET INVOLVED

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. 

TAKE THE SURVEY

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ABORTION FUND OF ARIZONA
4141 N. 32nd Street #105
PHOENIX, AZ, 85018

 

HELP LINE:
602-327-5166

 

Call our helpline anytime. Our volunteers return calls every 24-48 hours, usually in the evenings. We do not accept funding requests via email, but you are welcome to email us with additional questions or requests for resources: hello@abortionfundofaz.org

HELP LINE | 602-327-5166

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