Reproductive Rights

State Law Withholds Resources from Organizations that Provide Abortion Referrals or Counseling


November 16, 2011

Phoenix: Alessandra Soler Meetze, ACLU of Arizona, (602) 773-6006 (office) or 602-301-3705 (cell);
New York: Robyn Shepherd, ACLU National, (212) 519-7829 or 549-2666;

PHOENIX – The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Arizona went to court today to argue against a law that would exclude any nonprofit organization that provides abortion referrals or counseling from receiving donations through the state’s Working Poor Tax Credit Program.

The ACLU filed its lawsuit along with the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence (AzCADV).

“Far from providing assistance to Arizona’s working poor, this bill deprives survivors of domestic and sexual violence of the critical information and resources they need to heal and to keep themselves safe,” said Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the ACLU of Arizona. “It is not only unconstitutional, it’s cruel.”

The law is so broad that it could prevent groups from even discussing abortion or other reproductive health services with women in crisis.

“The state cannot punish organizations for providing domestic violence survivors with comprehensive, unbiased information about abortion by kicking them out of the tax credit program," said Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “This law is yet another example of the government interference in a woman’s most personal, private decisions. It’s time for government to do its job and stop playing politics with women’s health.”

“This bill puts organizations that serve women in desperate need between a rock and a hard place,” said Elizabeth Ditlevson, acting executive director of AzCADV. “Programs that serve victims of domestic violence should not have to choose between much-needed donations and the ability to provide comprehensive, uncensored information and referrals to the women they serve.”

More information on this case can be found at: