June 16, 2011
State Budget Passes Assembly with Unprecedented Restrictions on Women’s Health
Early this morning Republicans in the state Assembly and one Independent passed the Governor Walker's budget, which includes unprecedented rollbacks to women’s access to preventive health care, including cancer screenings, Pap tests, birth control and medical exams. The budget is now headed to the Senate.
The budget eliminates state funding to nine Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin health centers that provide preventive health care to over 12,000 uninsured women in small communities like Oshkosh, Fond du Lac, Eau Claire and Kenosha. These Planned Parenthood health centers offer medical exams, cancer screenings, birth control and STD testing and treatment. Abortion care is not provided at health centers that receive public funds.
The budget also jeopardizes Wisconsin’s BadgerCare Family Planning Program, which currently helps more than 57,000 women and men get preventive—and lifesaving—reproductive health care throughout the state.
Statement from Teri Huyck, President of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, on the passage of the Wisconsin State Budget in the Assembly:
This budget is a reckless political attack on each and every one of the 73,000 patients Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin serves and jeopardizes the entire BadgerCare Family Planning Program.
Women like Judy—who learned that she had a rare form of cervical cancer after a routine Pap test at Planned Parenthood in Waukesha several years ago when she was uninsured—know Planned Parenthood is an essential part of Wisconsin’s health care system. And through the BadgerCare Family Planning program, young people like Greg in Stevens Point receive life-changing—but also life-saving—diagnoses early, so that treatment is possible.
It’s not just patients like Judy and Greg who are going to pay the price. This irresponsible agenda is going to cost all of us. The BadgerCare Family Planning program saves Wisconsin at least $140 million each year. That’s more than a billion dollars over the 8 year course of the program.
I am appalled that women's health, let alone fiscal responsibility, doesn’t matter as much as an ideological agenda does to politicians in our state Legislature.