What You Didn’t Hear in GOP State of the State
Day after speech, Senate GOP to vote against Wisconsin women
MADISON – After hearing the Governor’s lackluster vision for our state last night, which includes more risky schemes like self-insuring the health insurance plans for approximately 250,000 public workers, one of the first subsequent actions to be taken by Senate Republicans will be to restrict access to critical health care services for women, including birth control and breast and cervical cancer screenings.
“I don’t know if Governor Walker had a teleprompter issue last night or if legislative Republicans accidentally deleted a couple of lines from their press releases – but bills that continue to deny Wisconsin women needed access to critical health care weren’t in their talking points last night,” stated Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison). “Political games and unwarranted attacks against women’s health providers, including Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, continue to dominate the Republican agenda as wages in our state stagnate and job creation lags. You would think in these final days of this legislative session Republican leaders would address these crisis areas, and not continue to deny Wisconsin women life-saving health care.”
Assembly Bill 310 excludes health centers including Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin from $3 million in federal funds, which they currently use to provide critical health services like breast and cervical cancer screenings. This bill directly conflicts with federal Title X law. Assembly Bill 311 significantly lowers birth control reimbursement rates for only family planning services and applies lower reimbursement criteria than that imposed on any other health care provider. AB 311 will have the effect of shutting down non-profit women’s health centers in most parts of our state.
“The Centers for Disease Control identify birth control as one of the most significant public health advances in the 21st century and yet these legislative Republicans with a 1950’s mentality continue to treat women like second-class citizens,” Taylor concluded.
Every year in Wisconsin, community-based reproductive health care providers prevent 7,200 abortions, 21,200 unintended pregnancies, 1,500 new STI cases and 25 cervical cancer cases.