Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, May 18, 2018

Contact: Jessica Herrera, (520) 260-1725,

Arizona Partnership Launched to Protect Reproductive Rights, Planet

PHOENIX— The Center for Biological Diversity and Planned Parenthood of Arizona joined forces this month to host joint community forums across the state. At the four events, expert panels, local elected officials and community members discussed how educating and empowering people protects the planet, including what Arizona communities can do to defend reproductive rights.

“Access to reproductive healthcare should be a universal human right,” said Dr. Catherine Thomasson, senior population campaigner at the Center. “It’s also an essential tool in curbing human population growth to save room for the wildlife sharing the planet with us. We need to draw that connection and, more important, protect access to affordable contraception, starting right here in the United States.”

The events in Phoenix, Tucson, Prescott and Somerton mark the beginning of a new partnership between the organizations and featured state senator Lisa Otondo and state representative Isela Blanc.

Together Planned Parenthood of Arizona and the Center will work to unite supporters of both causes for common goals — such as defending comprehensive sex education, protecting federal funding for reproductive healthcare and maintaining the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act without co-pays. All three of these priorities of the new partnership have been shown to reduce unplanned pregnancies.

“It’s no coincidence that the same politicians who have low regard for reproductive freedom are among the first to sell off the environment and the future of our planet,” said Jamie Aragon, community partnerships manager at Planned Parenthood of Arizona. “Oppression of people and nature often go hand-in-hand, which is why we must work together to protect our communities and the environment.”

Over the past 50 years, human population has doubled, while wildlife populations have been cut in half.

Preventing unintended pregnancies can reduce the pressure human population puts on endangered species and fight the catastrophic effects of climate change. But nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. At the same time, reproductive freedom faces unprecedented attacks at the federal and state level.

“If we want to solve the most pressing issues our communities face, from climate change to immigrant rights, we must work in partnership and solidarity,” said Regina Romero, Tucson city councilwoman and the Center’s director of Latino engagement. “Empowering people will help us build a stronger, more united movement.”


Caribou graphic by Shawn DiCriscio. Images are available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

In the community for over 80 years, Planned Parenthood Arizona is the leading sexual health organization in Arizona. The organization provides health care, education and outreach services to more than 90,000 men, women, teens and parents annually. Planned Parenthood Arizona operates health center locations statewide. For more information, please visit

More press releases