MADISON, Wisconsin, December 19, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Republican Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin has come under fire for cutting Planned Parenthood from a $130,000 state program that provides women with free cancer screenings.
The local Planned Parenthood affiliate, which provides referrals to Medicaid patients for cancer screenings, expressed outrage after it was told by state officials the contract would end. Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin president Teri Huyck in an open letter to the Walker administration demanded an answer as to how the “health and lives of women in these counties” would be protected after the change.
“We call on you to immediately provide Planned Parenthood and the 1,000 women currently entrusted to us for critical cancer care with information about who will provide for their health care needs starting January 1,” wrote Huyck.
Walker, an abortion opponent, has responded that Planned Parenthood was cut because of its controversial nature, and that many other clinics can provide the same services.
“The [Well Woman] program is still in place,” Governor Walker told WBAY. “There are many clinics that are not as controversial as Planned Parenthood, and our goal was to make sure low-income women had access to those sorts of screenings from other providers around the state that don’t carry the controversy you get with Planned Parenthood.”
Planned Parenthood of Indiana similarly claimed in June that the state government there had endangered Medicaid women by cutting the abortion group from the Well Women program. An investigation by the pro-life group Live Action countered that Planned Parenthood had inflated its claims as a significant health care provider, and provided less than one percent of Indiana Medicaid patients.
The Obama administration retaliated against Indiana and other states for cutting taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, and threatened to withhold all federal Medical money unless the abortion provider’s funding was restored. That decision may come under review soon, as Solicitor General Tom Fisher last week asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to overturn the ruling against Indiana’s funding change, Businessweek reports.