On Thursday night, the Wisconsin state Senate put the finishing touches on the state budget and it kept two important pro-life provisions in the legislation that is now headed to pro-life Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.
One of the provisions makes Wisconsin the next state to revoke taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business. It directs federal Title V family planning dollars to public health agencies and prohibits them from giving the funds to organizations or its affiliates that provide abortions or abortion referrals.
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 deeply appreciates State Senate action last night that reaffirmed earlier Assembly action to prohibit Title V taxpayer dollars from going to organizations that perform abortions,” Wisconsin Right to Life president Barb Lyons said. “Both of these important budget provisions will protect the lives of babies and will protect Wisconsin taxpayers from having to pay for many abortions in our state.”
When the Joint Finance Committee voted 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, 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.”
The second of the budget provisions prohibits the university of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority Board from paying physicians or surgeons or a hospital, clinic or other medical facility for doing an abortion except as specified in Wisconsin’s current abortion-funding law.
“Wisconsin Right to Life is deeply appreciative to the legislature for insuring that no UW funds will be used for the performance of abortions in any UW facility,” said Susan Armacost, the legislative director of Wisconsin Right to Life.
“We remember only too well the brazen attempts of UW a couple of years ago to set up a late-term abortion facility at the Madison Surgery Center. It was only because of a huge outcry by the public and many employees of the Madison Surgery Center that UW finally backed down and nixed the deadly project,” Armacost explained. “In spite of the lobbying against the budget provision by UW, the legislature made sure that UW will no longer be able to plot behind the scenes to find ways to use taxpayer dollars to pay doctors and facilities to perform abortions.”
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.