Planned Parenthood Wisconsin May Cut After Losing Tax-Funding

State   Steven Ertelt   Jul 11, 2011   |   12:22PM    Madison, WI

The Planned Parenthood abortion business in Wisconsin is upset that the state will soon cut off $1 million in taxpayer funding — a portion of the grants it gets from state, federal and local governments combined.

As has been the case in Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina and New Hampshire, Wisconsin decided to cut state taxpayer funding and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed into law the state budget legislators approved containing the de-funding. It was part of budget cuts needed to meet a $3 billion state shortfall.

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. Three of the nine Planned Parenthood centers in the state do abortions and the other six make referrals for abortions.

While the budget makes it so the money goes to non-abortion health clinics that provide the same or better medical services for women, Planned Parenthood is complaining that it will have to cut services or staff and claims women will be hurt.

“This is a challenging time for us. We are evaluating all our options,” Amanda Harrington, a spokeswoman from Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, told the Appleton Post Crescent. She claims 12,000 people overall in the Planned Parenthood system night have to go elsewhere for non-abortion health services. “The patients we see every day don’t have somewhere else to go.”

“It’s a shame some political personal beliefs are taking away resources that make sure women in Wisconsin have access to basic family planning health care,” Harrington complained.

Rep. Michelle Litjens, a Republican, told the newspaper that women aren’t losing because the money is shifting to county health departments that provide women with medical help without being a place that also injures them and kills unborn children in abortions.

“In the original budget, the governor cut well-woman coverage in half but the Legislature fully restored it with the stipulation that the money not to be given to any place that provides abortions,” she said.

After he signed the budget, 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.

In other states, Indiana approved a law de-funding Planned Parenthood and North Carolina and Kansas followed with similar efforts. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is about to follow suit and New Hampshire Planned Parenthood centers may close after the state revoked a $1.8 million grant.