August 30, 2021 Press Release


August 30, 2021




NEW REPORT: Equity Forward Examines The Center for Arizona Policy, The Group Behind Arizona’s Questionable New Anti-Abortion Center Program


Today, Equity Forward releases a new report, “Unelected Lawmakers: Public Records Show How One Anti-Abortion Group Wields Extensive Power Over Arizona Policy,” that examines the influence of the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), a powerful lobbying group and one of Arizona’s most influential right-wing organizations. 


After multiple failed attempts to pass bills to fund the anti-abortion centers, or AACs, (also known as “crisis pregnancy centers” or “CPCs”), Arizona state legislators tucked a line-item appropriation of $1.5 million for a “family health pilot program” for fiscal year 2021-2022 into one of state’s annual budget bills that was recently signed into law. Arizona’s funding provision passed in large part due to the efforts of CAP.


Equity Forward review of more than 600 pages of public records from Arizona’s legislature and state health department identified the following key insights:


  • The deceptively named “family health pilot program” would divert Arizonan taxpayers’ dollars to unlicensed facilities that often use medically inaccurate information to coerce people away from abortion care and are known to target marginalized communities, including communities of color and low-income people. 

  • CAP inserted itself directly into the health department process in developing the program, outside the typical advocacy and lobbying norms.

  • CAP recommended vendors to receive this money that have documented histories of questionable financial practices in other states. 


Equity Forward’s Mapping Deception report, published earlier this summer, highlights similar “alternatives to abortion” programs in other states that serve as a model for Arizona and the ways they have misused funds. 


“CAP’s influence over Arizona policy is undeniable. Now, they are using that power to set the agenda for right-wing policymakers, who are now diverting tax dollars to questionable anti-abortion programs—dollars that should supporting families working to make ends meet. We were prompted to investigate this particular group given their scope, goals, and increasing potential for causing a great deal of damage as the national landscape shifts away from supporting abortion access and reproductive choice,” said Equity Forward director, Molly Bangs.


“After analyzing hundreds of pages of records, we felt it was vital that taxpayers be alerted to CAP’s outsized influence over passing this Alternatives to Abortion program that will now be funded by public dollars in Arizona.”




Equity Forward is an accountability organization that produces investigative research on domestic and global human rights, gender equity and sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice.