Assembly Health Committee Forwards Bills to Cut Women and Men off from Preventative Health Care
The bills are intended to block Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and other family planning providers from receiving federal funding for providing preventative reproductive care to those in need.
MADISON — Today, on a party-line vote, the Assembly Committee on Health advanced two bills to restrict access to essential health care. The bills appear to be fast tracked for passage in the Assembly despite overwhelming opposition to the policies because of the health care gaps that would be created without the current network of community based health care providers. No health care providers have registered support for these bills.
The bills are intended to block Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and other family planning providers from receiving federal funding for providing preventative reproductive care to those in need. Planned Parenthood is the largest nonprofit community based reproductive health care provider in Wisconsin and serves more than 60,000 women and men each year. The majority of patients served by Planned Parenthood consider PPWI to be their primary care provider.
“These bills are just the latest attempt to cut off women and men from the essential reproductive health care they need,” said Tanya Atkinson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin (PPAWI). “None of our public health partners, including the FQHCs or the county health departments, support these proposals because they know thousands of women and men will go without needed care. The legislative debate so far has clearly demonstrated that the politicians pushing these bills do not have a plan for how to serve the 60,000 women and men who rely on Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin each year.”
In just one week, 235 people who rely on Planned Parenthood or who are currently going without health care sent letters that were delivered to the bill authors to underscore the importance of continued care. Lifesaving cancer diagnosis, pregnancy prevention, wellness exams, adoption referrals and nonjudgmental counseling were just a sample of the essential services at risk if the bill sponsors succeed.
“This year, PPWI is celebrating 80 years serving Wisconsin communities. Our commitment to provide basic reproductive health care services to anyone in need remains firm,” said Atkinson. “Today and every day, our priority is keeping Wisconsin safe, healthy and strong.”
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin is the advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. PPAWI engages in legislative and educational activity and works to elect candidates to office that support these goals.