Wisconsin governor Scott Walker isn’t just waging a war on public employees and unions, he’s waging a war on women’s reproductive health rights. In his 2011-2013 budget unveiled today, he includes a call to cut Title V, the state-funded family planning program that offers services to thousands (taking his cues from the Pence Amendment) and a call to repeal the Contraceptive Equity Law, requiring insurance companies covering prescription medication to cover contraception. This will affect tens of thousands of Wisconsonites, men and women, who receive cancer screenings, STI testing and counseling, contraceptive care, check-ups and more at over 50 clinics across the state. This is, of course, being framed as a fiscally conservative cost-saving measure, despite the oft-repeated counter evidence that every tax dollar spent on contraceptive care through Medicaid saves roughly four dollars.
This is an unsurprising move from Walker, who has been campaigning on the anti-abortion ticket since he was elected to the Wisconsin assembly in 1996. In the 2010 election he was endorsed by the hardline Pro Life Wisconsin. Some of the legislation he has supported in the past fifteen years has included provisions requiring parents to be notified of teens receiving contraception, public employees to be fined $1000 dollars for discussing abortion, and pharmacists to be allowed to refuse to fill birth control prescriptions based on religious beliefs.
Read more and take action at NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel, Mother Jones, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Women’s Health Budget Project, and the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health. Also read here on my blog about the benefits and necessities of publicly funded family planning on a national level.
Above: Scott Walker unveils his budget to a joint session of the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly. Photo Credit: Gary Porter of the Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel