Planned Parenthood will be closing four rural Wisconsin locations between April and July because the nonprofit health care organization has lost $1.1 million in state funding, officials announced Monday.
The centers in Beaver Dam, Johnson Creek, Chippewa Falls and Shawano don’t get enough private funding to stay financially viable without the state support, which the Legislature eliminated in the 2011-’13 state budget.
While the anti-choice crowd will no doubt applaud the closing of these four Planned Parenthood locations as a victory, Planned Parenthood provides many other services besides abortions. According to officials from Planned Parenthood, the four clinics that are being closed are the only reproductive health care providers in their communities, which means that approximately 2,000 low-income residents who need cancer screenings, breast exams, access to birth control, pregnancy tests, or testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases may have to travel up to an hour to go to a location in another county. In fact, just three percent of all Planned Parenthood health services are abortion services.
No doubt we can expect to see more attacks on the rights of women in Wisconsin at the hands of Republican legislators (mostly men) who seem to think they know better than women when it comes to a woman’s reproductive health decisions.