PHOENIX, AZ – Newly-elected Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs is already drawing fire after her decision this week to defund shelters that take in pregnant, homeless, drug-addicted and abused women if they do not provide – or will not refer women for – abortion services.
In 2022, state lawmakers increased funding for troubled women’s shelters from $200,000 to $500,000 after seeing the overwhelming need for these services; those funds supply housing, basic care, parental training, mental health counseling and more.
Troubled women throughout the state desperately depend on these shelters, but if they do not provide abortion-related care, Hobbs’ new decree will see these shelters closed and the venerable women they serve turned out onto the street.
Furthermore, Hobbs is planning on taking these withheld funds and channeling it towards abortion clinics through what is known as Title X; in Arizona, taxpayer dollars are not allowed to fund abortions, but Title X allows the state to utilize federal funds for low-income family planning and women’s health care.
Currently, Hobbs is proposing in the state’s upcoming budget to take $500,000 from these shelters, while awarding $6.1 million in federal funding to abortion clinics statewide.
Hobbs has justified her decision by citing a poll that shows that 91 percent of Arizona residents support abortion. However, she is neglecting to mention that number includes 41 percent who support no-limit abortions, while the remaining 50 percent only support abortion in certain circumstances, such as rape, incest, a threat to the life of the mother, or serious developmental issues with the fetus.
It is currently unknown if the Title X abortion provision – along with the mandate to defund anti-abortion shelters – will be in the final draft of the state’s upcoming spending plan.