FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 18, 2016
NARAL Statement on Gov. Walker’s Anti-Choice Bill Signing
NARAL Pro-Choice America and NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin today called out Gov. Scott Walker for signing into law the latest in a series of measures that restrict Wisconsin families’ reproductive freedoms and limit access to health care. The two bills Gov. Walker signed today would strip approximately $7.5 million in reimbursements for health services provided by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and other reproductive-health clinics, including about $4 million in prescription drug costs. The health centers that will lose funding under the law serve more than 50,000 women and men across Wisconsin every year. The signing took place at an anti-abortion crisis pregnancy center in Milwaukee, while thousands of Latinos rallied at the state capitol to protest recent anti-immigration legislation pushed by Gov. Walker.
“Not only has Gov. Walker doubled-down on his effort to close family planning clinics in Wisconsin but he has rubbed salt into that wound by signing this anti-choice law at a so-called crisis pregnancy center,” said Eliza Cussen, Chair of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin. “Signing the bills at a clinic that deceives patients shows that Gov. Walker has no concern for the well-being of Wisconsin women. This is an insult to women, families, and the trusted clinics that serve them. By threatening more health clinics with closure, these laws put Wisconsin on track to see increased rates of preventable disease and unplanned pregnancy across the state. Gov. Walker is putting Wisconsin at risk.”
“Dealing this blow to Wisconsin’s working families is a heckuva capstone to Gov. Walker’s failed presidential bid,” said James Owens, States Communications Director for NARAL Pro-Choice America. “Using a discredited smear campaign against Planned Parenthood as an excuse to deprive thousands of women across Wisconsin access to reproductive health services is no one’s definition of leadership. It is especially shameful that the consequences of Gov. Walker’s actions today will be disproportionately borne by working families and communities of color. Gov. Walker needs to stop letting his ideology get in between Wisconsinites and their own private medical decisions.”
In early February, NARAL and its Wisconsin affiliate, NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin, wrote to Gov. Walker urging him to stand up for Wisconsin families and oppose efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and other family planning clinics. Prior to these two bills, Gov. Walker has signed measures that took away support for breast cancer screenings, wellness exams, and access to birth control and which lead to the closure of five Planned Parenthood clinics across the state.
“Wisconsinites notice when their healthcare is taken away and they will remember this at the polls in November,” added Cussen. “Republicans need to know that they attack women’s health at their peril.”