This week’s radio commentary:
In some ways it was an odd setting for the big showdown: a stuffy committee room on the fourth floor of the State Capitol filled with legislators, staffers, media, a few pro-lifers and some pink shirts. The pink shirts are the trademark of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin supporters, and they were there. We were all waiting for the powerful Joint Finance Committee (JFC) to take up a motion regarding taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and other abortion-providing, family planning organizations.
The will to defund Planned Parenthood has been growing in the country, with the efforts in the US House of Representatives leading the charge. Although we’ve been talking about the provisions in the Governor’s budget to defund the abortion giant here in Wisconsin, we’ve been waiting to see what the JFC would do with the governor’s proposal.
The JFC can vote up or down, or adopt an alternative to the governor’s proposals in the budget. Whatever they approve goes to the Assembly and Senate floors where members can amend the budget before they pass it and before it goes to the governor. Once it gets to the governor’s desk, Gov. Walker can use his line-item veto power to make limited changes to the legislature-approved budget.
Last week we found out exactly what the JFC would do with Governor Walker’s proposal to remove public funding for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin from the state budget. Republican members of the JFC submitted a motion to reinstate the family planning funding the Governor had slashed from the state budget. Their motion would also approve Walker’s proposal to remove 15-44 year-old boys and men from what used to be known as the Family Planning Medicaid Waiver program and is now called the BadgerCare Family Planning Only program.
However, the Republican motion, while reinstating the funding, would also protect taxpayer money from going to organizations that perform abortions or make referrals for abortions or that have affiliates that do abortions or refer for them. Another provision requires that parents be notified if their minor children seek so-called “family planning services” through what has been known as the “Family Planning Medicaid Waiver” program—money which, by the way, goes to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin as the largest provider. This common sense provision allows parents to protect their child in critical situations, including those which could constitute statutory rape.
These provisions are truly significant. As you can imagine, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and their allies—which included the 4 Democratic legislators on the JFC—were none too happy about the GOP’s motion. Not surprisingly, the Democratic legislators on the JFC were quite outspoken in their support for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin’s so-called “health care” for women and upset that that the GOP JFC members wanted to pull that public funding.
After much debate and lecturing from the Democratic members on the committee, the JFC passed the motion on a party-line vote, 12-4, taking the first step in defunding the abortion giant in Wisconsin.
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, which provides the majority of the abortions in the state, has been the primary recipient of the General Purpose Revenue funds involved with the JFC’s motion. Generally, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin receives close to $1 million each year of these Title V Maternal and Child Health family planning funds, which is just one source of public funds for the giant abortion provider.
A recent review of taxpayer money going to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin in a given year, through both state and federal funds, all of which is taxpayer money, shows the organization received over $18 million in 2010.
Last week’s vote in the JFC was a good start to reining in public funding for such abortion-providing, abortion-promoting groups. We look forward to continued efforts to staunch the flow of tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and other organizations that advance a life-taking agenda. Thanks to the twelve Republicans on JFC, we’ve begun the process.
Planned Parenthood’s outspoken opposition and near rants regarding last week’s action in the JFC session highlights the real impetus behind Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, and it’s not providing so-called women’s “health care,” as they said; it’s money, just as we’ve known all along.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”