Last week, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith announced that it will no longer contract with Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI) as a part of the Wisconsin Well Woman Program in four counties.

Under the Well Woman Program, in which PPWI has served as a state contractor for the past 16 years, women without insurance between the ages of 45 and 64 can get referrals for breast cancer, cervical cancer, and multiple sclerosis screenings at no cost. PPWI indicated that this will effect over 1,000 women seeking cancer care from the organization.

Governor Scott Walker justified his administration’s decision by claiming that Planned Parenthood is “too controversial.” He stated, “There are many clinics that are not as controversial as Planned Parenthood, and our goal was to make sure low-income women had access to those sorts of screenings from other providers around the state that don’t carry the controversy you get with Planned Parenthood.”

National Partnership for Women and Families 1/6/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 12/20/11