Wisconsin could become the next state to cut state taxpayer funding of the Planned Parenthood abortion business under the family planning program and direct the funds to agencies that don’t do abortions.
The Joint Finance Committee voted today 12-4 to keep state family planning programs funded with state and federal taxpayer dollars from going to any agency that does abortions or makes referrals for them, thereby eliminating the taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood. The total family planning funds were also cut 10%, or just under $200,000, to a total of $1.7 million and the funds will now be directed fully to legitimate medical centers.
The motion directs that state family planning dollars and federal moneys for family planning from the Title V program be given to county health departments. County health departments are prohibited from giving the taxpayer dollars to organizations that perform abortions or do abortion referrals, or to subsidiaries of organizations that perform abortions or do abortion referrals.
Alberta Darling, a Republican legislator and former Planned Parenthood board member, said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “I see this as a very positive effort to retain critical health care services for women.” And Sen. Glenn Grothman, another Republican, said taxpayers should not be on the hook for an abortion business: “There’s a very ugly side to this organization, and I regret that they’re going to take such a tiny cut in this budget.”
But Sen. Lena Taylor, a Milwaukee Democrat, called the vote one that would send women “back in time” and dismissing videos showing Planned Parenthood covering up cases of sexual abuse and Sen. Bob Jauch, another Democrat, opposed the vote as well, saying, “Clearly Planned Parenthood would not receive any funds under this motion.”
Susan Armacost, Legislative Director of Wisconsin Right to Life, emailed LifeNews.com about the vote:
“An important first step took place today to ensure that taxpayer dollars do not go to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin,” she said. “We applaud the Joint Finance Committee for voting in favor of a motion to the state budget to protect Wisconsin taxpayers.”
Pro-Life Wisconsin legislative director Matt Sande also offered the following comments to LifeNews.com following the vote:
“We commend the Republican members of the Joint Finance Committee for starting down the long road toward totally defunding Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI) of all taxpayer dollars. Planned Parenthood is the state’s largest abortion provider and in 2010 it collected more than $18 million in federal and state family planning funds, mostly from the Title XIX Medicaid program. Yet chemical and surgical abortions in the state continue to rise. PPWI performed 5,439 abortions in 2009, a 56% increase from 2008, when PPWI was responsible for 3,053 abortions. The Committee’s action today effectively prevents PPWI from receiving close to $1 million annually in state and federal Title V funds. Polls consistently demonstrate that Americans are opposed to taxpayer funding of abortions.
All money is fungible. Family planning funds free up resources within PPWI to engage in the surgical abortion business. Abortion is not healthcare. Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, a ‘non-profit’ organization with a net worth of $9.8 million that profits from killing unborn babies and exploits women in distress, should not be considered a healthcare provider. Wisconsin cannot continue to throw money at organizations that perform or refer for abortion, and we urge legislators to starve the abortion giant by cutting off all state and federal public funding streams to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.”
The vote follows on the heels of Kansas lawmakers putting the finishing touches on a bill that would shift funding away from the Planned Parenthood abortion business and stops abortion funding in health insurance programs.
The legislation, which pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback is expected to sign soon, follows a new law in Indiana that made the state the first to yank millions from Planned Parenthood by cutting off its revenue stream from Medicaid. Planned Parenthood filed suit against the law and, this month, a federal judge has declined a request by the Planned Parenthood abortion business to issue a temporary restraining order blocking the law.
The legislation would cut off anywhere from $2 million to $3 million the Planned Parenthood abortion business receives in federal funds via the Indiana government through Medicaid. Planned Parenthood challenged the constitutionality of the law and filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis yesterday just hours after Daniels signed the legislation into law. It alleges the law would violate contracts already in place between it and the state and that it forces Planned Parenthood to choose between doing abortions and getting taxpayer funding.
However,Judge Tanya Walton Pratt declined to issue the injunction while she takes more time to analyze the legal issues involved in the lawsuit. That type of decision is usually an indicator that the judge will eventually issue a ruling against the party bringing the lawsuit.
Judge Pratt’s decision makes it so the millions in cuts takes effect immediately while the abortion provisions would take effect July 1. She indicated she did not think Indiana officials had enough time to respond to the lawsuit and said Planned Parenthood did not show it would suffer irreparable harm without a temporary restraining order.
Contrary to Planned Parenthood’s claims that low-income women will lose access to health care in Indiana, Governor Mitch Daniels has affirmed that there are 800 Medicaid providers in the counties in which centers related to Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses stand to lose access to state-directed funding. There are 231 Medicaid providers in the three counties in which Planned Parenthood currently operates its Indiana abortion clinics. The same type of centers also operate in Wisconsin.
ACTION: Encourage your state legislators to support Planned Parenthood de-funding at http://legis.wisconsin.gov/