Walker’s Failed Presidential Bid Should be a Wake Up Call to Republicans Trying to Defund Planned Parenthood
Republican leaders are fast tracking two bills aimed to further defund Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.
MADISON —Republican leaders are fast tracking two bills aimed to further defund Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI) with a public hearing Tuesday and an Assembly vote Thursday. These actions come despite objections by the health care community, the receipt of patient letters opposing the proposed cuts, and a failed presidential bid by the most extreme candidate on women’s health.
Last week, in the face of repeated public opinion polls that highlighted the public’s support for Planned Parenthood, Fox News’ Brit Hume said defunding Planned Parenthood would be political suicide. Despite that prediction, Walker continued to call for the continued defunding of Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin and nationwide and even backed a government shut down.
“One in five women has been to a Planned Parenthood at some point in their lives, said Nicole Safar, government relations director at Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin (PPAWI). “Throughout our 80 year history, we have been there for thousands of women and men during important moments of their lives. Because of this history of trust, the public overwhelmingly supports Planned Parenthood and the essential reproductive health care we provide, and has no appetite for a fight over defunding the organization.”
The bills being advanced by Republicans in the state Legislature would block Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and other family planning providers from receiving federal funding for providing preventive 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. No health care providers have registered support for these bills.
“We need to listen to health care professionals and the patients served by the network of community health providers. They oppose these bills because access to health care is already a problem in Wisconsin, and these bills would make a bad situation even worse,” said Safar.
Just last week, PPWI delivered over 235 letters from Wisconsin women and men who have struggled to get the health care they need to Sen. Chris Kapenga who claimed “everyone in Wisconsin has access to health care.” Their powerful stories illustrate the challenges many in our state face every day.
“We should all be able to agree on the importance of essential preventive health care in Wisconsin,” said Safar. “Each day, we work to make sure women and men are able to stay safe, healthy and strong. Nothing — not even these relentless political attacks — will change that.”
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.