Wisconsin Defunds Planned Parenthood

Recap of pro-life victories across U.S.

(photo: Shutterstock)

WASHINGTON (EWTN News) — Legislative moves to strip Planned Parenthood of its funding are gaining traction across the U.S., with several states already enacting laws and several more drafting similar measures.

Lawmakers in Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina and Wisconsin have already voted to defund the nation’s largest abortion provider, while pro-life advocates in Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and Minnesota are pushing for the same legislation.

In Wisconsin, the state Senate voted on June 16 to keep provisions in the state budget, which revoked taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood and directed federal Title V family-planning dollars to public-health agencies. The provisions also prohibited the organization from giving funds to affiliates that provide abortions or abortion referrals.

The budget, which Gov. Scott Walker signed in Green Bay on June 26, directs $1 million in state and federal-family planning funds away from Planned Parenthood.

“Wisconsin Right to Life deeply appreciates state Senate action … that reaffirmed earlier Assembly action to prohibit Title V taxpayer dollars from going to organizations that perform abortions,” Wisconsin Right to Life president Barb Lyons said on June 17.

“Both of these important budget provisions will protect the lives of babies and will protect Wisconsin taxpayers from having to pay for many abortions in our state.”

Planned Parenthood received $363.2 million in government grants and contracts in 2009 and performed over 330,000 abortions that same year.

“It’s a great victory,” said Glenn Tebbe, executive director of the Indiana Catholic Conference of the state’s defunding efforts. “This is an achievement we’ve been working towards for a number of years.”

Tebbe made his remarks to EWTN News in March, when Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed into law a bill that cuts Planned Parenthood state funding and adds other restrictions on abortion.

The law ends all state-directed funding for businesses that do abortions except for hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers. It cuts $2 million of the $3 million the Indiana Planned Parenthood organization receives annually in government funds.

Tebbe said the law offers “a very good chance” to reduce the number of abortions in Indiana. “That’s probably the most important aspect.”

The Indiana legislation set off a domino effect, with three states enacting nearly identical measures within the following months and four more planning similar moves. Planned Parenthood officials reacted by saying that the diversion of funding will impact services that are not related to abortion.

On June 9, the Kansas Legislature voted to block federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed the bill into law, pulling around $300,000 in funding from the organization.

Days later, on June 15, North Carolina became the third state to defund Planned Parenthood after lawmakers voted to override Gov. Bev Perdue’s veto of the budget.

The move ensured that a provision to strip all federal and state money from Planned Parenthood will take effect on July 1.

Planned Parenthood has nine businesses across the state and has received about $434,000 a year from state and federal funds.