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PHOENIX — On August 21, 2020 the Tucson Police Officers Association (TPOA) released a statement to the Tucson City Mayor and Council calling for action to be taken against Council Member Lane Santa Cruz. In an attempt to censure Council Member Santa Cruz, TPOA’s statement claims misconduct from the Council Member during a protest following the death of George Floyd in downtown Tucson on May 29, 2020.

Maricopa County Attorney candidate Julie Gunnigle, similarly faced censuring attacks on August 21, 2020 from the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA) who took to social media to discount Gunnigle and her campaign demanding accountability from law enforcement.

Statement from Chris Love, Board Chair, and Lola Bovell, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona:

“Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona (PPAA) strongly supports Tucson Council Member Lane Santa Cruz and Maricopa County Attorney candidate Julie Gunnigle. Both women have recently been the subject of misogynistic and racist attacks by the Tucson Police Officers Association and Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, respectively, because of their vocal support and advocacy for policies that challenge systems of white supremacy and oppression in law enforcement. These attacks are abhorrent and unacceptable, but they are not surprising.

Police unions repeatedly stand in the way of criminal justice reform, often digging in to protecting bad actors in police departments across the country. They vehemently argue against any and all accountability measures for officers accused of using excessive and deadly force, often to the detriment of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, who disproportionately suffer from unchecked police violence. In addition, they stoke racial tensions by countering pleas of “Black Lives Matter” with the false narratives of “blue lives” and the “Thin Blue Line.”

For these reasons, PPAA recently asked endorsed candidates to return or reject any police union campaign contributions because we understand that police violence is a reproductive justice and public health issue. That is, all people should be free to raise healthy families in safe communities without the constant fear of police violence. PPAA will also deepen its call on public officials at all levels of government to work together to hold police officers and departments accountable, reallocate funds from police budgets to invest in community-based solutions, and otherwise ensure meaningful safety in all of our communities.

We support Council Member Santa Cruz and candidate Gunnigle, not only because they are strong supporters of reproductive rights, but also because they are proven leaders who understand the intersectional issues that impact the patients served in Planned Parenthood Arizona centers throughout the state. This is what we expect from all elected officials. 

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona thanks Tucson City Council Member Lane Santa Cruz and Maricopa County Attorney candidate Julie Gunnigle for their support of our organization and for their unwavering calls for police accountability and transparency. For these reasons, we will steadfastly remain in support of both of these amazing women leaders.”


Media Contact:

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona;

[email protected];

(928) 699-2081

Planned Parenthood‘s advocacy and political arm in Arizona, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona (PPAA), is the state’s largest nonpartisan advocacy organization dedicated to protecting access to reproductive health care. PPAA is fighting for every person’s freedom and right to make reproductive choices, enjoy sexual health and wellbeing, and build healthy, strong families. Advocatesaz.org