Governor’s anti-birth control position displayed throughout budget
MADISON, WI – With his antibirth control beliefs in full display, Governor Walker’s budget completely eliminates Title V, the only state funded family planning health care program, which provides critical health care services to uninsured women and men including cervical cancer screens, prostate cancer screenings, breast and well women exams, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and access to birth control. The Governor also continues his assault on basic rights and allows discrimination against women by repealing the Wisconsin’s Contraceptive Equity law. Governor Walker’s budget allows insurance companies to discriminate against women by denying coverage for prescription birth control even when other prescriptions are covered.
“We have obviously seen over the last several weeks that Governor Walker has no respect for the basic rights of Wisconsinites,” said Tanya Atkinson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin. “Now, he continues his assault on women and families by denying them life-saving health care and taking away their rights to be treated fairly in insurance coverage.”
Eliminating the state’s only family planning program puts over 50 health centers located throughout Wisconsin at risk of closing and denies women in both rural and urban areas basic health care. In much of the state, these family planning health centers are especially important because, in many instances, they are the only provider in the area. For tens of thousands of women, there is simply no where else to go for annual exams, pap smears and breast exams. The budget also kicks uninsured men off of the Badger- Care family planning program which provides birth control, cancer screenings, HIV and other STD testing and treatment.
“Governor Walker’s budget takes away health care for tens of thousands of hard working Wisconsinites, and gives up significant savings created by these programs that economically benefit our state,” continued Atkinson. “In 2008 alone, WI Department of Health Services said family planning programs saved $140 million and prevented 11,000 unintended pregnancies. Governor Walker is more concerned with furthering his anti-birth control agenda than the health of Wisconsinites and our economy.”
Further, Governor Walker eviscerates women’s rights to be treated fairly in insurance coverage, again allowing policies to exclude coverage for prescription birth control even when other prescriptions, like Viagra, are covered.
“Like the rights of workers, Governor Walker walks all over the rights of women in this budget, which not only is morally reprehensible, but fiscally irresponsible,” states Atkinson. “These are not Wisconsin values and we certainly deserve better.”