February 20, 2013 — Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin on Monday announced that state budget cuts will force the closure of four family planning clinics that are the sole reproductive health care providers in their areas, the Huffington Post reports.
In 2011, the state Legislature and Gov. Scott Walker (R) adopted a budget plan that eliminated funding for nine family planning clinics because they also provide abortion. The funds had supported contraceptive services, cancer screenings, testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, and other services.
PPWI's clinics in Beaver Dam, Johnson Creek, Chippewa Falls and Shawano -- which serve about 2,000 patients -- will close between April and July. The group will continue to provide services at 23 remaining clinics across Wisconsin.
To minimize the impact of the closures, Deb Bonilla -- vice president of patient services for PPWI -- said staff are working with affected patients to identify health care alternatives, adding that "in some instances the resulting barriers to care will make health care access very difficult" (Bassett, Huffington Post, 2/18).