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Wisconsin Legislature passes budget that respects taxpayers' consciences

Friday, June 17, 2011

Wisconsin Legislature passes budget that respects taxpayers’ consciences

Madison – Last night the Wisconsin State Senate, in concurrence with the State Assembly, passed a biennial budget bill that 1) redirects $1 million in state and federal family planning funds away from Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, the state’s largest abortion provider, 2) applies current law abortion funding restrictions to the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) Authority, and 3) removes boys/men aged 15-44 from the BadgerCare Family Planning Program and requires parental notification for minor girls in the program. Pro-Life Wisconsin legislative Director Matt Sande offered the following comments:

“Pro-Life Wisconsin applauds the Wisconsin Legislature for passing a budget that respects the consciences of pro-life taxpayers who wholly oppose the use of public funds for the direct or indirect subsidization of abortion. Whether such funds are state and federal family planning grants to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI), the state’s largest abortion provider, or state payments to UW medical residents for abortion training, pro-life Wisconsinites are saying ‘Enough is enough!’ We thank the State Legislature for listening to them. In particular, we thank Representative Andre Jacque for his advocacy for the pro-life provisions in this budget.

In 2010 PPWI collected more than $18 million in federal and state family planning funds which they repeatedly claim lower the abortion rate. Yet chemical and surgical abortions in Wisconsin continue to rise. PPWI performed 5,439 abortions in 2009, a 56% increase from 2008, when PPWI was responsible for 3,053 abortions. The biennial budget bill effectively prevents PPWI from receiving close to $1 million annually in state and federal Title V Maternal and Child Health family planning funds, a good start down the long road toward totally defunding them of all taxpayer dollars. 

Applying current law abortion funding restrictions to the UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) Authority will prohibit them from using state funds to perform abortions. The UWHC Authority pays medical residents in the UW School of Medicine OB/Gyn Department for two four-week rotations at a Planned Parenthood facility in Madison where they view and perform abortions, a grisly practice which stains the reputation of Wisconsin’s flagship hospital. Furthermore, the UWHC Authority’s ability to perform late-term abortions at the Madison Surgery Center or some other location, should they choose to resume such plans, would be obstructed under the funding restrictions.

Finally, we applaud the common-sense changes to the BadgerCare Family Planning Program which currently provides free, taxpayer-funded birth control to 15, 16 and 17-year-old boys and girls without their parents’ knowledge or consent. Removing boys from the program and requiring parental notification for minor girls in the program will go a long way toward restoring parental authority in the sensitive area of teen sexual health.”