Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a budget Sunday that cuts education and health clinics -- including Planned Parenthood clinics -- to plug a $3 billion shortfall without raising taxes, AP reported.
The two-year, $66 billion budget passed in the state legislature without a single Democratic vote.
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America denounced the budget, which eliminated state and federal funding for the organization’s clinics.
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin says it has 27 health centers across the state, which provide birth control, cancer screenings, annual exams, and sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment to 73,000 patients every year.
Wisconsin is the fourth state to target Planned Parenthood because of conservative-led objections to the group’s abortion services -- even though they are funded separately and make up a small fraction of the services Planned Parenthood provides.
"If organizations want to do that, we're not saying they don't have the right to do that under the law. While we disagree with abortions entirely, they do have that right," Wisconsin’s Channel3000.com quotes Julaine Appling of Wisconsin Family Action as saying. "We don't have to use taxpayer money to do that."
The budget eliminates state and federal funding to nine Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin health centers in small communities and cuts off 12,000 women who do not have health insurance from getting preventive health care, the group said in a statement.
“The budget also threatens Wisconsin’s BadgerCare family planning program, which currently helps more than 53,000 women and men get preventive health care at providers throughout the state, including Planned Parenthood. According to the Department of Health’s own estimations, the BadgerCare family planning program saves Wisconsin nearly $140 million per year,” Planned Parenthood said.
“It is outrageous that Governor Walker would take away health care away from thousands of women and families in Wisconsin,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement.
Indiana, Kansas, and North Carolina have also cut off funds to Planned Parenthood, although U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt temporarily halted enforcement of Indiana’s law on Friday. Several state legislatures have said they will act against Planned Parenthood in the absence of federal government action. The Obama administration supports Planned Parenthood.
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