Target: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
Goal: Reestablish funding to Wisconsin Planned Parenthood clinics and allow all clinics to remain open
In 2011 Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled state legislature passed a bill that eliminated public funding for low-income and uninsured individuals seeking reproductive health care at Planned Parenthood because some of the clinics offer abortions. Planned Parenthood is the largest reproductive health care provider in the state and the funding cuts detrimentally affected nine clinics that provide birth control, cervical and breast cancer screenings, annual and Well Women exams, STI testing and treatment, pregnancy testing, and HIV testing. Approximately 2,000 patients will be directly affected by the several clinic closures in rural areas of Wisconsin due to the funding cuts. According to Deb Bonilla, Vice President of Patient Services for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, many patients will have to drive much longer distances to get basic health care like wellness exams, birth control and cancer screenings.
Planned Parenthood has been providing affordable reproductive health care and empowering women since 1916. In addition to health care, Planned Parenthood educates about reproductive health and relationship health care. Closure of these clinics will be detrimental to the communities losing them. While the clinics offering abortions are the reason behind the budget cuts, Scott Walker and Wisconsin’s legislature need to realize how vital the plethora of other health services are that Planned Parenthood provides. Wisconsin has a problem with teen pregnancy and epidemic levels of sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates with over 5000 births to girls aged 15-19 in 2010 and an estimated 250,000 new cases STI every year. Teen pregnancy adversely affects Wisconsin’s economy by costing the state more than $160 million dollars in 2008. Education and comprehensive reproductive health care would solve this problem and Planned Parenthood provides both. Sign the petition below and demand Scott Walker to reestablish public funding to Planned Parenthood and keep clinics from closing.
Dear Governor Scott Walker,
In 2011 you approved a budget cut to public funding of reproductive health care at Planned Parenthood because some of the clinics offer abortions. Planned Parenthood is the largest reproductive health care provider in the state of Wisconsin and the only provider in many of the smaller communities throughout the state. Planned Parenthood provides birth control, cancer screenings, annual and wellness exams, pregnancy and HIV testing, and STI testing and treatment. In addition, Planned Parenthood educates the community about preventing unplanned pregnancy, STI transmission, and relationship health and safety. With teen pregnancy alone costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars annually, Planned Parenthood is essential to Wisconsin’s economy and reproductive health.
By cutting public funding to Planned Parenthood you have forced approximately 2,000 patients to drive longer distances and take more time to receive basic health care like annual and wellness exams, birth control and cancer screenings. Planned Parenthood is invaluable to Wisconsin’s low-income and the half a million uninsured citizens. Funding should never have been cut to this organization. I urge you to reestablish funding to Planned Parenthood and your state’s low-income and uninsured citizens. Prevent closures to rural Planned Parenthood clinics. Reestablish funding to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: American Life League via Flickr