Yesterday, May 18, Wisconsin’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC) approved a motion that would prohibit the state from giving family planning money to organizations that perform abortions or give referrals for abortions. This vote is a vital first step to defunding Planned Parenthood in that state.
As reported by LifeNews, this motion enables state and federal family planning dollars to be directed to county health departments, which are prohibited from giving funds to organizations that perform abortions or provide referrals for abortions. Wisconsin Right to Life also commented in its press release that this legislation will require parental notification before minor women can receive family planning services.
This move to defund Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin might actually have the result of preserving family planning dollars that would otherwise be cut altogether, according to one Associated Press story. Gov. Scott Walker proposed elimination of the entire program. Under this JFC motion, up to $1.7 million could be restored for family planning grants, but none of this money could go to abortion-providing or abortion-referring organizations.
Wisconsin Radio Network also reported that:
Joint Finance co-chair Robin Vos (R-Rochester) argued the measure just closes a loophole that allows tax dollars to go to groups that provide abortions, even if that money is not directly spent on that procedure. Vos says the state’s limited tax dollars should actually go to providing health care, not “killing children.”
Vos also pointed out that the restriction does not ban abortions in Wisconsin. The bill just prevents groups that provide abortions or refer women to services that offer them from receiving state grants.
The changes made by the JFC approval will need to be voted on by both houses of the State Legislator and signed by Governor Walker before they can go into effect.
Pro-life activisits in Wisconsin, be sure to let your voices be heard as this motion moves forward. (You can find contact info for your state legislators here: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/)