A few weeks ago, Dana Goldstein pointed out that Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to roll back bargaining rights would disproportionately impact women who largely populate the professions whose unions are at stake. But Walker’s budget would impact women – particularly poor women – by taking away several avenues to reproductive care and contraception.
First, Walker’s budget would eliminate Title V, the only state-funded family planning program, which provides not just birth control but the gamut of tests and cancer screenings that keep poor people healthy. Generally, conservatives are content with simply stripping care from poor women, but Walker’s budget also repeals Wisconsin’s Contraceptive Equity law, which would allow insurance plans to deny coverage of contraceptive prescriptions. As icing on the cake, Walker’s bill gives the Wisconsin health department – headed by a former Bush Administration official – the power to end a Medicaid-supported program under the new health-care law that provides family planning to women and men.
To anyone interested in actually saving money, Walker’s proposals cut off vast amounts of federal money flowing into the state and raise the state’s deficit. But as we’ve already seen around the country, the new crop of Republicans at both the state and federal level are interested in a lot more than cutting deficits. If Walker has to renegotiate his budget, it’s important that these provisions are taken off the table.