Budget Would Reduce Birth Control, Cancer Screen Access
The Wisconsin Assembly-approved state budget would reduce access tocancer screening and birth control because it eliminates state fundingfor privately owned family planning clinics, Wisconsin Lt. Gov. BarbaraLawton (D) and several Assembly Democrats said at a news conference onTuesday, the AP/Appleton Post-Crescent reports.The budget approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate would allow theclinics to continue receiving state funds. A committee meeting toresolve differences in the budget approved by the Senate and theRepublican-controlled Assembly has not considered yet the familyplanning differences.
According to Chris Taylor, public policy director for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin,the elimination of funding for private family planning clinics wouldforce 32 clinics across the state to close, cut services or raiseadditional private funding. The clinics provide more than 31,000patients with cervical and breast cancer screening, sexuallytransmitted infection testing and treatment, and birth control, Taylorsaid. He added that none of the clinics, 10 of which are run by PPW,provide abortions (Foley, AP/Appleton Post-Crescent, 8/28).
Nicole Safar, policy and legal analyst for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, said the Assembly measure could result in Wisconsin not receiving $1.7 million in federal matching funds (Lincoln Michel, Green Bay Press-Gazette,8/29). "This budget pulls the rug out from under Wisconsin's women,and, by extension, the economy of the entire state," Lawton said.
JohnMurray, spokesperson for Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch (R), said that agroup of antiabortion conservatives do not believe that state fundingshould go to the clinics. "They would rather see more resources putinto the abstinence side rather than providing taxpayer dollars forthese types of programs," Huebsch said (AP/Appleton Post-Crescent, 8/28).
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