, , ,

Assembly Committee Considers Planned Parenthood Funding Cuts

$7.5M In Federal Funds Could Be Cut Under 2 Bills


The state Assembly’s Health Committee held a public hearing Wednesday on two Republican-backed bills that could strip Planned Parenthood of nearly $7.5 million in federal funding.

For decades, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin has been the state’s only recipient of Title X funds, used by low-income men and women for family planning. Under one bill authored by Rep. Andre Jacque, the state Department of Health Services would apply for and distribute the federal grant.

“I don’t believe that this bill is going to do anything but to help in broadening the array of health providers used,” Jacque said. “Essentially, right now Planned Parenthood has a monopoly of Title X funding.”

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Supporters of the bill object to Planned Parenthood providing and referring women for abortions. Federal law currently prevents federal funds from being used for such procedures, but supporters of the bill contend that the money indirectly supports abortions.

Opponents argue the measures could reduce health care access for low-income patients.

Rep. JoCasta Zamarrippa, a Milwaukee Democrat, told the bill’s authors, Jacque and state Senate sponsor Chris Kapenga, that their bill could reduce access to women’s health care.

“STD treatments, cancer screenings, Pap smears. It’s going to make that kind of preventative health care that much harder for folks, just so you can continue on this obsession with defunding Planned Parenthood,” Zamarrippa said.

Jacque and Kapenga said public health departments, federally funded community clinics and the Wisconsin Well Woman program could provide care instead. The Wisconsin Well Woman program, however, is limited to women age 45-64.

The second bill discussed at Wednesday’s hearing would reduce Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid reimbursement rate for contraceptive drugs.

In 2011, Republican lawmakers cut nearly a million dollars in state funding from Planned Parenthood.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story featuring Associated Press content has been updated with reporting by Wisconsin Public Radio.