MADISON, Wisc. — The Republican governor of Wisconsin signed two bills into law this week that strip the abortion giant Planned Parenthood of $7.5 million and redirect aid toward uncontroversial women’s health organizations.
Gov. Scott Walker held an official signing ceremony on Thursday at Life’s Connection in Waukesha, a non-profit organization that provides alternatives to abortion, where S.B. 237 and S.B. 238 received their final approval.
“Today, we signed two bills into law that prioritize women’s health while improving government and its services to the citizens of Wisconsin,” the Republican governor said in a statement. “We want to make sure as taxpayers, whether it’s state funds or federal funds that come through the state of Wisconsin, that they’re used in the way that’s responsible and reasonable.”
S.B. 237 diverts federal Title X funding from organizations that offer abortion services, meaning that approximately $3.5 million dollars will be stripped from Planned Parenthood. S.B. 238 places a limit on how much family planning groups can be reimbursed by Medicaid for prescriptions, which is estimated to cost Planned Parenthood $4 million.
SB 237 was approved by the Assembly last year and the Senate in January. SB 328 was approved by the state Senate in January and passed the state Assembly last week.
While the bills do not specifically mention Planned Parenthood, author Sen. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, acknowledged to reporters that the legislation will affect the organization.
“This is a consistent stance with where I have always been, where many others in this body have always been, and that is, we are going to protect life,” he told the Cap Times. “I believe that that begins at conception, and I believe that one of the cornerstones of the Declaration of Independence and what our Constitution is drafted around is the protection of life.”
Pro-life and pro-family groups applauded the move.
“Wisconsin taxpayers shouldn’t be forced into this immoral partnership with Planned Parenthood, especially when better, low-cost community health care providers serve women and families far more comprehensively and outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities in Wisconsin 17 to 1,” said Casey Mattox of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
But Planned Parenthood viewed the legislation as a means to end abortion.
“The move was the latest in a long line of attacks by the governor and the Republican-controlled state legislature on the health of Wisconsin women and families,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement.
The organization also threatened to file suit.
“The law is directed just at Planned Parenthood. It’s to cut our funding so we can’t provide services,” Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin Director of government relations Nicole Safar told Newsday. “Legal action is certainly on the table. The law singles out Planned Parenthood.”
Some, however, state that the bills do not go far enough as they do not result in a total defunding of the abortion giant.