Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin Could Lose Preventive Screening Contract

December 19, 2011 — Gov. Scott Walker's (R) administration recently told Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin officials that the organization will be cut from a program offering preventive health screenings to uninsured women, Mother Jones reports (Sheppard, Mother Jones, 12/16). However, a state Department of Health spokesperson said a final decision has not been made. The spokesperson would not confirm or deny that the department is dissolving its relationship with PPWI (Vinson, Green Bay Press-Gazette, 12/14).

Through the Wisconsin Well Woman Program, uninsured women ages 45 to 64 receive referrals and no-cost screenings for breast cancer, cervical cancer and multiple sclerosis. The state uses various contractors, including PPWI, to coordinate and provide the services (Mother Jones, 12/16). The $1.8 million program is a state-federal partnership.

Tanya Atkinson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, said state officials earlier this month told the organization by phone that it would not renew a $130,000 contract at the end of the year. Atkinson said, "Our understanding is that we're being kicked out of the program" (Green Bay Press-Gazette, 12/14).

Atkinson said the decision is politically motivated. If PPWI loses the contract, it could jeopardize care for more than 1,000 women in Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Outagamie and Winnebago counties who access the program through the organization (Mother Jones, 12/16).

Wisconsin this year also passed a budget provision prohibiting public funding for Planned Parenthood. The budget also blocked the distribution of "women's health funds" to organizations that provide abortion care or referrals, as well as their affiliates (Green Bay Press-Gazette, 12/14).