Despite our best efforts, and the work done by our supporters, both HB 2542 and SB 1527 passed their respective chambers in the Arizona legislature and were transmitted to the Governor’s office for signature. This law will require the Arizona Department of Health Services to compete for the Title X grant that the Affirm (AFHP) has rigorously competed for and received for nearly 35 years. As evidenced by the state’s apathy towards family planning (no dedicated state funding to provide or augment reproductive healthcare services) this is a purely political move by Arizona conservatives to block access to reproductive healthcare.
Founded in 1974 to support the work of family planning providers in Arizona, the Affirm has competed for and been awarded Title X finding since 1983. Since then, AFHP has been an excellent steward of the grant, providing not only funding to dedicated reproductive healthcare programs around the state, but also technical assistance, data management, staff training, and continuing education and training for the healthcare providers of these programs. The funding that we provide to 34 clinics around the state and in the Navajo Nation allows them to provide high-quality reproductive healthcare services to over 35,000 women, men and teens each year. High quality reproductive healthcare services in our network include birth control/contraception, STD testing and treatment, pregnancy testing and counseling, cervical and breast cancer screening, as well as basic infertility screening, and emergency contraception.
Even with the added competition, we are confident that AFHP will be selected to continue managing and monitoring the grant, as our long track record shows we are supremely qualified to continue this work in Arizona.
On behalf of the Affirm Board of Directors, I want to take this opportunity to thank not only our supporters across the state who called and emailed their representatives in the Arizona legislature, but the Arizona House and Senate Democrats who stood up to support AFHP and protect access to quality reproductive healthcare.