The article in Allure magazine calls out Arizona’s “ultraconservative” politics, numerous anti-abortion laws, and lack of comprehensive sex education.
After researching Planned Parenthood clinics to find one that represents the national organization’s mission, employees and patients, a writer for a national magazine settled on one located in the Phoenix neighborhood of Maryvale.
The Maryvale clinic does not perform abortion services, neither surgical nor by medication. The three close-knit, bilingual women who run it focus on serving its 6,400 patients every year, providing 18,400 birth-control prescriptions, performing 1,300 pap smears, and conducting 4,200 appointments addressing sexually-transmitted infections.
The clinic, near 51st Avenue and Camelback Road, is one of the busiest of the 10 Planned Parenthood locations in Arizona.
Allure magazine published an article on the clinic last week. The day after it ran, President Trump announced his first full budget plan, which would strip Planned Parenthood of all federal funding — including Medicaid.
Planned Parenthood: Maryvale reflects us all
“The Maryvale health center is a great example of the day-to-day operations of any Planned Parenthood health center across the state or country,” Planned Parenthood Arizona said in a statement.
“Maryvale reflects the intersection of barriers to equity and opportunity including income, immigration status, the criminal justice system, lack of quality public education, while simultaneously showing how people are empowered against those forces through taking control of their health,” the statement said.
The population in the ZIP code that is home to that clinic, 85031, is nearly 80 percent Latino, and half of the population is below the poverty level, according to U.S. Census data.
The neighborhood as a whole has much higher poverty rates than the national official poverty rate of 13.5 percent in 2015.
Arizona law doesn’t require sex ed
The article focuses on Arizona seemingly because of its presumed status as “ultraconservative,” and its political history that includes the controversial, now-overturned “show me your papers” law — Senate Bill 1070.
Reporter Kathy Dobie, whose work has also appeared in GQ and Harper’s magazines, criticized Arizona’s anti-abortion laws and their impact in the article, as well as the fact that Arizona does not require school districts and charter schools to offer sex education.
State law requires that districts that do offer sex ed must teach a preference for childbirth and adoption over abortion.
Since 1991, Arizona has banned the acknowledgment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in public-school sex-education programs, making it one of eight states where it’s legal to exclude homosexuality in such discussions.
Abortion foe: Article “sends a false sense of fear”
“A national magazine like Allure should always consider the other side of the story as well, and this article did not do so,” said local anti-abortion activist Lisa Blevins.
Blevins has organized and attended anti-Planned Parenthood protests at the Tempe clinic every weekend for more than a year.
“The article probably is an attempt to humanize (Planned Parenthood) through a false smoke and mirrors tactic, because the truth be told, PP takes the lives of innocent human beings with little or no regard to the health and well being of the mother and other family members,” she said.
Belvins argued that other providers, such as federally qualified health centers, could fill the healthcare need without offering abortions.
“The fact is, Planned Parenthood kills innocent human beings,” Blevins said.
Arizona CEO: “We hope that this piece helps people understand”
Bryan Howard, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona, spoke positively of the article.
“We hope that this piece helps people understand that there are real human beings behind all the rhetoric — our patients, our health center staff, our volunteers,” he said in a statement.
“When politicians make it harder for Arizonans to access health care, it is hardest on people who already face barriers to accessing health care — especially people of color, young people, people with low to moderate incomes, and people who live in rural areas.”
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