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Wisconsin governor signs bills to reduce funding to abortion providers

[JURIST] Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed legislation [press release] Thursday that will effectively cut funding to Planned Parenthood in the state by millions of dollars, although the two bills do not target Planned Parenthood by name. The first new law [text] severs state funding, under Title X, for public providers of abortions. The money will be diverted instead to "less controversial public entities." The press release stated that the Department of Health Services, "will not send those funds to Planned Parenthood, which is currently the only Wisconsin entity to receive Title X funding." The other bill [text] requires state clinics to enroll in a federal program that reimburses drug costs. Clinics linked to abortion services, like Planned Parenthood, will be subject to lower reimbursement rates.

Planned Parenthood has come under increased scrutiny recently following the release of video footage purportedly showing employees discussing financial remuneration in exchange for fetal tissue. Earlier this month Ohio lawmakers [JURIST report] approved a bill that would block federal and state funds from reaching groups that promote or perform abortions, effectively defunding Planned Parenthood. Last month President Barack Obama vetoed legislation [JURIST report] that would have defunded Planned Parenthood. Also in January a Texas grand jury has found no criminal wrongdoing [JURIST report] by Planned Parenthood over allegations of selling fetal tissue, instead indicting two activists responsible for releasing videos that spurred the allegations.

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