Wisconsin Blocks Federal Funds From Reaching Planned Parenthood

| by Kathryn Schroeder
Planned Parenthood ProtestPlanned Parenthood Protest

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin will no longer be eligible for federal funding.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed two bills into law on Feb. 18 that block federal funding for the organization, a move that may cost it around $7.5 million a year.

"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," Walker said before signing the bills, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

One bill changes the amount of money Planned Parenthood can be reimbursed for dispensing prescription drugs—an estimated $4 million a year. The other bill takes an estimated $3.5 million in government payments from “Title X” grant programs from the organization because it provides abortions.

The federal grant money will be given to “less controversial public entities” such as state, county and local health departments and clinics, a statement from Walker’s office said.

There is no other organization in Wisconsin that receives "Title X" grant money.

Planned Parenthood came under attack when it was accused of selling aborted fetal tissue by an anti-abortion group’s videos, Reuters notes. A grand jury in Texas found Planned Parenthood did not commit any crimes and indicted two anti-abortion activists who were behind creating the videos for tampering with a government record and violating a prohibition on the purchase and sale of human organs.

The ruling has not stopped Republican-led states from trying to block federal funding to Planned Parenthood, and Wisconsin has now succeeded.

"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," a Planned Parenthood representative said in a statement.

Under the new laws, acquisition costs and dispensing fees for prescription drugs incurred by state entities who perform abortions will now be billed to Medicaid.

Ohio passed similar legislation earlier this month, blocking state and federal funds for groups that perform or promote abortions. Planned Parenthood of Ohio will lose an estimated $1.3 million a year in funding that is used for HIV testing, pre-natal care, and other programs because of the new law.

Sources: Reuters, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / Photo credit: Charlotte Cooper/Flickr

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