APPLETON - The Wisconsin Well Woman Program has helped low-income and under-insured women have access to breast cancer and cervical cancer screenings.
Outagamie, Winnebago, Fond du Lac and Sheboygan counties pooled $130,000 last year to pay for two coordinator positions at Planned Parenthood of the Fox Valley.
The four counties have been contracting with Planned Parenthood since 1995 and Winnebago County's health director says he can see only one reason those funds would be taken away.
"We rely on them as a primary women's health provider in Winnebago County, so it appears this is political in nature more than anything because there is no other positive outcome," said health director Doug Gieryn.
Local Democratic representatives argued restricting the four county's ability to contract with Planned Parenthood will hurt the women the program is intended to serve.
"We shouldn't for ideological reasons break a program that is working so well," said State Democratic Representative Penny Bernard Schaber of Appleton.
State Health Services Department spokesman Beth Kaplan says no decision has been made yet on restricting the money to Planned Parenthood. The spokesman for Governor Scott Walker says the governor, "Signed a budget bill into law earlier this year that also ensured its funding continues. The services provided to women will continue in those counties regardless of DHS' decision on the provider."
Republican State Representative Andre Jacque of Bellevue sponsored a bill in the state Legislature that will prevent money for the program from going to any organization that provides abortions or abortion services.
"We're removing controversy not funding, this is all about making sure there is access to vital services, but at the same time it's about removing funding from the state and nation's largest abortion provider," Jacque said.
Winnebago County's health director says he'd be disappointed if Planned Parenthood would no longer administer the program, but he says the counties will make sure the services are still available.
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