- WND - http://www.wnd.com -

Arizona cuts umbilical cord off Planned Parenthood

Arizona will no longer facilitate state employee’s Planned Parenthood donations
By Kelsey Harkness
Reprinted with permission of The Daily Signal

Arizona has cut the umbilical cord off Planned Parenthood, no longer allowing the organization to receive donations from state employees on the government’s dime.

Republican Governor Doug Ducey, who serves as the chairman of the State Employee Charitable Campaign, “absolutely supports” the move to remove Planned Parenthood from the program, called the State Employee Charitable Campaign, which allows state employees to make donations through payroll deduction or a one-time payment.

Arizona’s State Employee Charitable Campaign features more than 400 organizations that are eligible for state employee donations.

Daniel Scarpinato, a spokesman for the pro-life governor, told press that state employees are still able to donate to Planned Parenthood on their own, but Arizona won’t play any part.

“[Ducey] has made it clear that the state of Arizona should not be involved in facilitating contributions to a controversial organization of this kind,” he said. “People are still free to give on their own.”

Critics, including Planned Parenthood, view the decision as politically motivated.

“The money is not what it’s really about,” Annet Ruiter, Planned Parenthood Arizona’s external affairs vice president, told the Phoenix New Times. “It’s about taking state employees’ rights away by saying what they can and can’t donate [their own] salary to.”

The decision to block Planned Parenthood came after undercover videos surfaced showing the group’s employees haggling over the price of body parts from aborted babies. Planned Parenthood has denied any wrongdoing related to the videos.

Those videos, produced by the Center for Medical Progress, sparked calls to defund the nation’s largest abortion provider of the $528 million it receives in federal funding.

Ruiter pointed out that among those still on Arizona’s list of eligible non-profits is Alliance Defending Freedom, which is a pro-life Christian legal fund that has actively called to defund Planned Parenthood.

Ruiter told Phoenix New Times that Planned Parenthood Arizona “typically receives between $7,000 and $8,000 annually” from state employee donations.

Jodi Liggett, another Planned Parenthood spokeswoman, told the Associated Press that some of that money goes to fund abortions.

“So the individual donations coming through the [State Employee Charitable Campaign] do in part pay for abortions,” she said. “In fact, many of our donors specifically want to fund this service knowing that women in dire circumstances may not have the financial means to pay for a needed abortion.”