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Planned Parenthood Says They Will Overcome New Funding Restrictions

Walker Signed Bills This Week, Calling Them 'Highly Reasonable'

AP Photo/Kevin Wang

Gov. Scott Walker signed two bills this week designed to cut funding to Planned Parenthood. But a spokeswoman for the organization says the new laws will be hard to enforce.

One bill allows the state to compete for federal Title X grant money to fund contraceptive health services for women, and any money the state gets could not go to abortion providers.

But Wisconsin’s Planned Parenthood public policy director Nicole Safar said the group has a 40-year track record of winning that grant.

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“The state can certainly try to compete with us for those funds but I am confident in our ability to continue to put forward a competitive grant and continue to get that portion of the funding,” she said.

The other bill would reduce the Medicaid reimbursement Planned Parenthood gets for providing contraceptives. Safar said that would make it impossible for the agency to provide birth control to low-income women. But she said the agency hopes to convince Medicaid officials the law is unconstitutional because it singles out Planned Parenthood to receive a lower reimbursement rate just because it provides abortion services.

Walker signing the Planned Parenthood funding bills. Chuck Quirmbach/WPR

Both measures received intense criticism from women’s health care and abortion rights advocates as they made their way through the state Legislature.

But after signing the bills, Walker said he rejects the idea that they will hurt the GOP with moderate female voters.

“As long as the dollars can be spent in a public health department with programs like the Wisconsin Well Woman program, whether you’re pro-life or not, I think most folks think that’s highly reasonable.”

Opponents of the bills say they harm women because they could reduce the number of options available for family planning and other health services.