Planned Parenthood is being forced to close four of its clinics in Wisconsin after the state enacted legislation to defund businesses that perform or refer for abortions. The “family planning” group — whose affiliates nationwide performed 333,964 abortions and reported $87.4 million in profits during 2010-11 — announced that it would shutter facilities in Beaver Dam, Johnson Creek, Chippewa Falls, and Shawano over the next several months, citing a loss of $1.1 million in state funding. Wisconsin is at least the fourth state over the past two years to successfully defund Planned Parenthood and other businesses that perform abortions.
The state legislature enacted a budget for 2011-2013 that eliminates funding to family planning clinics that provide abortions or refer women to a clinic that performs the procedure. In a press conference, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin complained that some 2,000 low-income women whom they say rely on the clinics for cancer screening, breast exams, pregnancy testing, and other services would now be left out in the cold. “They are small centers in small communities and they needed the state funding to make them financially viable,” said Planned Parenthood spokesperson Teri Huyck. “It's terribly unfortunate for the women who live in these areas. Without the state support, we didn't have a choice.”
Nicole Safar, director of public policy for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, insisted that the funding her employer lost was never used for abortions, since it is against the law to use either state or federal funds for the murderous procedure. “They weren't reimbursements for patient services directly,” she said. “None of these centers provided abortion services....” She said that in the communities where the clinics closed, “there is nowhere else for low-income women to get these services. These centers focused on preventing unplanned pregnancies and reducing the need for abortions.”
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