September 25, 2014
Fifth Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin Family Planning Health Center Closes
Fond du Lac Co. health center forced to close after 36 years of service due to politics
Today Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin closed its fifth family planning health center located in Fond du Lac County as a direct consequence of Governor Walker’s targeted elimination of all state funds supporting preventative patient care at Planned Parenthood in the state budget. All of the impacted Planned Parenthood health centers provided essential health care including breast and cervical cancer screens, health exams, birth control and testing and treatment of STD’s to women in need of affordable reproductive care. None of the affected health centers provided abortion services or referrals due to state laws that prohibit the use of state funds for anything abortion related. Governor Walker and Republicans in the state Legislature targeted cuts for thousands of low income and uninsured patients at Planned Parenthood because of their opposition to birth control, and abortion services that are provided at three of Planned Parenthood’s 22 locations.
“It is disheartening that 36 years of essential health care benefiting more than 36,000 women and men in the Fond du Lac community would be stopped by those with a political agenda,” stated Tanya Atkinson, Executive Director for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin. “For some of our patients, Planned Parenthood was their only health care provider and a referral source to other community resources providing medical care, health insurance, food assistance and housing support. Knowing the need and value of this care for so many women and families, it is troubling that Governor Walker would eliminate this essential health care.”
“Over the years, we have come to know many of our patients on a deeply personal level”, stated Planned Parenthood Nurse Practitioner, Katherine Meine. “From holding the hand of a patient concerned about a lump in her breast or helping a woman understand her diagnostic and treatment options following a positive cervical cancer screen, we have been there with our patients during difficult times. Women’s health matters to us, our patients, their families and the majority in the community and should not be treated like a political game.”
Liza Durkin, a Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin patient stated, “Governor Walker just doesn’t care about people like me when he takes away affordable health care I rely on. People who are in between jobs, without insurance or transportation don’t have many health care choices and they value Planned Parenthood. The Governor is turning his back on us. We rely on Planned Parenthood. It shouldn’t be a political issue.”
“The good news is it doesn’t have to be like this,” stated Atkinson. “We all want strong, healthy families. Governor Walker has made it clear that he doesn’t share our values and will continue to erect barriers for women and families. At Planned Parenthood we will work every day to support healthy families and communities by making sure women and men receive the high quality affordable health care they need. This November, we hope people will join with us and vote for Mary Burke, a candidate who shares our values and cares about healthy families and communities.”
Fond du Lac patients should call 1-800-230-PLAN or visit www.ppwi.org to find their nearest health center. Our health centers in West Bend, Oshkosh, and Sheboygan remain open.