Did Wisconsin eliminate Planned Parenthood funding? Not quite

In July of this year it was widely reported that Wisconsin’s state legislature had defunded Planned Parenthood. Is this true? Sadly, the answer is no. Though pro-lifers in Wisconsin were able to win passage of a budget that cut $1 million in funding, Planned Parenthood still receives funding from Wisconsin taxpayers in the budget signed by Governor Scott Walker, according to Susan Armacost, Legislative/PAC Director at Wisconsin Right to Life.

The announcement from Planned Parenthood at the time of passage is rather misleading as it lumps in abortion with “preventive health care”.

But the budget Governor Walker just signed prohibits Planned Parenthood from participating in the family planning program funded by the Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant, a joint state-federal program. This radical move eliminates state and federal funding to nine Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin health centers in small communities like Oshkosh, Fond du Lac, Eau Claire, and Kenosha, and cuts off 12,000 uninsured women from access to preventive health care.

Associated Press reported the story this way.

Another type of law — enacted this year in Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas and North Carolina — eliminates public funding for Planned Parenthood. The funds had been earmarked for family planning and other non-abortion services, but Planned Parenthood became a target for cutoffs because it also is the nation’s largest provider of abortions.

What really happened in Wisconsin?

The budget (.pdf) enacted by Wisconsin’s state government includes a provision allocating more than $1.7 million dollars for a “Women’s health block grant”. It is this provision that continues to fund Planned Parenthood, though the actual amount of funding allocated  does not appear to be publicly available.

Molina Health’s report on the budget status during negotiations, though the final amount of funding seems erroneous, offers us insight into how funding was diverted to Planned Parenthood through a name-change while the budget was being considered by a legislative committee:

Lawmakers on Wisconsin’s budget committee restored more than $3 million in funding for family planning services this week. They, however, changed the name of the program to the “Women’s Health Block Grant” and prohibited the use of the funding for any center that provides abortion services or referrals for abortion services.

Did the “prohibition” on abortion funding result in the closing of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics in Wisconsin? No. Planned Parenthood continues to kill babies through abortion in many cities across Wisconsin according to their website, though they are very likely now under pressure to be creative in allocating the more limited funding they receive.

What have we learned?

Planned Parenthood is not interested in listening to the will of the people on taxpayer-funded abortion. Indeed, Planned Parenthood is not interested in “women’s health” except as a slogan. The “choice” to kill is Planned Parenthood’s means of preying upon young women and people of color who are often in circumstances where hope is never offered to them, let alone the beautiful choice for life.

Planned Parenthood was founded on an anti-life “ethic” that is celebrated by them and borders on being a religion. They will never, ever stop performing abortions as long as they can do so legally. In fact, if there are any “back alley abortions” being performed when abortion is banned, we can be sure that it will be those who espouse an anti-life ethic such like Planned Parenthood’s who will be doing the killing.

We must never rest on our laurels in the struggle to end abortion in America. We must never forget who it is that we are dealing with in the pro-abortion movement. As long as Planned Parenthood is functioning in America, there will be abortions in America.

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