Planned Parenthood Wisconsin Facing Tough Times After Cuts

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 22, 2011   |   12:03PM   |   Madison, WI

The Wisconsin affiliate of the Planned Parenthood abortion business is facing tough economic times following a decision by state legislators to cut off $1 million in taxpayer funding for the agency.

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.

Responding to the budget cuts, Planned Parenthood engaged in aggressive fundraising efforts that it tells The Northwestern newspaper has resulted in a 180 percent increase in donations – but not enough to make up for the loss of taxpayer revenue.

Now, abortion advocates are resorting to scare tactics to complain about the funding cuts. Judie Koeppler, an Oshkosh woman who is a member of Concerned Citizens for Women’s 
Health, told the newspaper she worries women will die from botched self-induced abortions because the abortion giant is not getting as much in funding from the state government. She complained to the newspaper that the Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin center in Oshkosh is losing $128,283 in funds from taxpayers.

Although abortion backers complain women will have less access to legitimate health care, Sam Austin, an analyst with the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, told the newspaper that all of the funds previously slated for Planned Parenthood will be redirected to county health departments that provide health care without doing abortions.

Rep. Michelle Litjens, R-
Vinland, defended the cuts in an interview with the newspaper and said Planned Parenthood is more concerned with getting taxpayer funds than women’s health — since women can receive the same or better health care elsewhere.

“I just don’t believe that in any way, shape or form the state should subsidize abortion,” Litjens said. “If (Planned Parenthood) decided not to do abortions or abortion referrals they would be eligible for (more) money. The choice is Planned Parenthood’s.”

She said 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 eliminating 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 New Hampshire Planned Parenthood centers may close after the state revoked a $1.8 million grant. Montana Planned Parenthood is also grappling with funding cuts and one county in Tennessee de-funded Planned Parenthood. Kansas is fighting to keep its de-funding decision in place. In North Carolina, a federal judge is forcing the state to go back on its decision to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

Ohio lawmakers also filed a new bill to shift funding from Planned Parenthood to health departments. Planned Parenthood could lose as much as $64 million in Texas.