A message from WFA President Julaine Appling:
An Unintended Consequence & Cause for Rejoicing
The press release showed up in our inboxes on Monday. I read the headline and cheered, as did everyone else in our office. I don’t think that’s really the reaction the organization that issued the press release wanted people to have. Here’s the headline that caused our jubilation: “Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin Announces Health Center Closures.”
Yes, you heard that right. Earlier this week, the state’s largest abortion provider announced that it is shutting down four, as they call them, “family planning health centers” in the state. The four communities directly affected are Shawano, Chippewa Falls, Johnson Creek and Beaver Dam.
Of course, the timing of this announcement is designed to coincide with Governor Walker’s budget address this week. Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin blames the Governor and the state legislature for having to close these facilities—and for the record, these are not “health centers.” Any place that counsels for abortion and refers for abortion is not about women’s health.
In the budget that the state enacted in June 2011, nearly $4 million of taxpayer money that had historically been designated for “family planning” was redirected with the stipulation that the counties that would get the money could not give our tax dollars to organizations that promoted abortion or referred for abortions or had affiliates who promote or refer for abortion. Since Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin received the lion’s share of that $4 million over the two years of the budget, they were the most unhappy of the state’s abortion-referring and performing organizations.
Was the direct intent of the legislature and the governor to shut down Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin facilities? No, of course not. The intent was to quit using taxpayer money to support organizations that kill the next generation of Wisconsin citizens. Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin has every right to raise money from the private sector, just like we do. What the governor and the legislature said was that they value human life and aren’t willing to keep pouring millions of dollars of taxpayer money into an organization whose main mission is to abort Wisconsin’s future taxpayers and workers.
This is a great lesson about passing good legislation. Bad legislation often has bad unintended consequences; good legislation often has good unintended consequences. It also highlights the truth that I have been trying to get people to understand for years. Not only can we legislate morality, we do it every day. Someone’s morality—someone’s view of right and wrong—becomes law every time we pass a bill in Madison or anywhere else. We get good law when good morality is legislated.
Now, what about these communities where the facilities are closing? Planned Parenthood wants us to believe that women are going to be going without cancer screenings and other health care. The truth is that Planned Parenthood is not the only provider of such screenings and reproductive health care in these communities—not even for low-income women. Don’t believe the lie that these women have no alternatives. It’s just not true.
It’s especially not true when you remember that the counties by law had to dispense the money from the state for these services—they just couldn’t distribute it to organizations such as Planned Parenthood. Someone in those four communities got the money and is making the services available.
What the closing of these centers means is that fewer teenagers will be given contraceptive drugs and devices without their parents’ knowledge, let alone permission. The closings mean fewer women will be told that abortion is their only viable option in an unplanned pregnancy. It’s important to note here that in the most recent reporting period, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin reported that they had zero—let me repeat that—zero referrals for adoption. That’s why I said that women are told that abortion is their only option. In those communities, fewer women will suffer the trauma of abortion; maybe more babies will be born—and more babies adopted in to forever families.
In spite of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin’s best effort to issue a doom and gloom press release on the closing of these facilities, from our perspective this is a time for joy—and a time to thank God for this particular unintended consequence. We can only hope that the governor and the state legislature will shut down other funding streams that use taxpayer money to fund this abortion giant. That would be more cause for cheering.