The organization halted abortion services at all but three clinics statewide in late August after several state laws went into effect requiring that only physicians dispense medication abortion pills or perform first-trimester surgical abortions. Before, a nurse practitioner or physicians assistant could perform those duties. Planned Parenthood at the time was unable to find enough doctors to continue providing abortions at all of its locations, particularly those in the more rural areas of Flagstaff, Yuma and Prescott Valley.Bryan Howard again restates that 20% of Planned Parenthood of Arizona's patients are looking for abortions.
The only three clinics that continued to provide abortions were in Tucson, Tempe and Glendale.
Planned Parenthood of Arizona CEO Bryan Howard said they now have enough doctors to serve five locations in the Tucson and Phoenix metro areas. He said they are still trying to find doctors in the rural areas so they can re-open those clinics.
According to Howard, about 50,000 Arizona women seek care from Planned Parenthood's 13 clinics each year, about 10,000 of them for abortions. The rest are for a variety of health-care needs, including birth control, vaccinations, cancer screenings and annual gynecological exams.Howard also notes that the abortion restrictions have likely lowered the number of abortions performed on women from rural communities (which undermines the pro-choice talking point that abortion restrictions don't prevent abortions).