Wisconsin Becomes Fourth to Cut Planned Parenthood Funding

State   Steven Ertelt   Jun 27, 2011   |   11:03AM    Madison, WI

With pro-life Gov. Scott Walker signing the state budget into law in Wisconsin, the Badger State becomes the fourth to cut funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business — following decisions by Indiana, North Carolina and Kansas to revoked funding entirely.

The legislation redirects $1 million in state and federal family planning funds away from Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. In 2010 Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin received more than $18 million in federal and state family planning funds that it claims has reduced abortions. However, the abortion business did 5,439 abortions in 2009, a 56% increase from 2008.

Wisconsin Right to Life praised Walker, with legislative director Susan Armacost saying, “Governor Walker and the state legislature acted courageously to protect Wisconsin taxpayers from having their tax dollars used to destroy human life. While there is more work to be done to protect taxpayers from paying for abortions, this state budget has greatly improved the situation.  On behalf of Wisconsin Right to Life members and supporters throughout the state, we extend our heartfelt thanks to Governor Walker and the legislature.”

Sen. Glenn Grothman, a Republican, said he is glad Planned Parenthood is losing some of its taxpayer funding in Wisconsin, but he wants to see the de-funding effort move forward with eliminate all or most of the remaining $18 million Planned Parenthood receives annually.

“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,” Grothman said.

Tanya Atkinson, the executive director of Planned Parenthood Wisconsin claimed the cut in taxpayer funding would result in “putting women’s lives at risk” even though hundreds of other federally-qualified health care centers — some funded with public dollars — exist that provide the same or better legitimate medical services apart from abortion that Planned Parenthood also provides. Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms for women and refers out all of its mammogram testing to these other non-abortion centers.

Atkinson told the Huffington Post that Planned Parenthood is “looking at every option to keep the nine abortion-performing centers open as much as possible.

Meanwhile, the state budget contains a provision which puts the University of Wisconsin Health Care Authority (UWHCA) under the provisions of state law, which prohibits the use of state tax dollars for the performance of abortions.   UWHCA tried to persuade legislators that it would lose accreditation if the provision was enacted, but officials with Wisconsin Right to Life say that’s not so.

“This argument is phony — federal and state law protect UWHCA from discrimination if it does not participate in abortion activities,” the group says. “UWHCA underwent a real skewering due to its phony claims and will now be bound by the provision included in the state budget that the Governor Walker signed yesterday.”

With the help of Matt Bowman of the Alliance Defense Fund, Wisconsin Right to Life successfully exposed this false attempt to “scare” legislators and the UW provision was included in AB 40

In signing the budget, Walker also issued a veto to give his administration more input on the state family planning program that provides free birth control to children as young as 15. Walker’s office could put limits in place on the ages and incomes of those who use the program — though that could put Wisconsin in league with Indiana, where a complete de-funding of the Planned Parenthood abortion business subjected it to a fight from the Obama administration and a lawsuit that a judge has upheld.

“We will do everything possible to protect this program, which helps 57,000 people in Wisconsin afford basic preventive health care at health care providers throughout the state,” Harrington said, according to the Journal Sentinel newspaper.

The Planned Parenthood funding cuts follows the legislature in the state of North Carolina overriding pro-abortion Gov. Bev Perdue’s budget veto and enacting a measure to remove federal funds from the pro-abortion organization in its state budget. In North Carolina, the abortion business receives $434,000 through state family planning programs aimed at reducing teen pregnancies and providing birth control.

The state of Kansas was the second to de-fund Planned Parenthood by law when Governor Sam Brownback signed into law a bill that would shift funding away from the Planned Parenthood abortion business and stops abortion funding in health insurance programs.

That legislation followed 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. That law is currently tied up in court thanks to a Planned Parenthood lawsuit.

Walker signed the budget Sunday afternoon before a crowd of about 100 people at a local manufacturing business.

ACTION: Thank Governor Walker here.