With the possibility of recall looming over his head due to his fiscal reforms, anger over other hot-button issues is the last thing Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker needs. But that hasn’t stopped him from excluding Planned Parenthood from state funds to organizations that help needy women get cancer screenings.
If you are a woman fortunate enough to live in a county where the screening is available by any entity that is not Planned Parenthood, these tests will continue to be available to you.
However, if you are a Wisconsin woman with insufficient funds or insurance to pay for cancer and multiple sclerosis screening and live in Winnebago, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, or Outagamie County, I’m afraid you now have a problem. Planned Parenthood is the only organization providing the screening program in these areas and each of the local offices has been notified that their contract with the state to provide such screening will terminate at the end of this year.
According to the state Department of Health Services, Ungar has his facts wrong, and the program will continue to assist cancer screenings in those four counties—just not through Planned Parenthood. The money will simply go to the counties’ health departments. But facts don’t matter when there’s a pro-lifer to hate:
As for the children who will lose a mother, they’ll just have to understand that it was far more important that Scott Walker burnish his anti-Planned Parenthood credentials than allow these kids to grow up with their mom […] it would appear that Scott Walker has not finished with the organization and will continue to take the lives of those already walking the planet under the pretense of saving unborn lives—and all because it makes for good politics with his base.
It’s bad enough that so many in society confuse government subsidizing a service with basic access to that service, but now we see the goalpost being moved even further: even if you subsidize a service, you apparently must include every organization which offers that service; otherwise, you are killing whoever doesn’t get that service. Judging whether a particular group would be the most effective or trustworthy steward of the people’s money is apparently verboten. (I wonder if that standard applies to any group that decides to offer free medical services. If, say, the Ku Klux Klan did breast cancer screenings in a rural area, would Mr. Ungar let us turn them away?)
If I were defending subsidies for an organization whose very purpose was killing (in a procedure that, by the way, has been linked to breast cancer), I’d personally be a bit more hesitant to cast stones at the danger of opponents’ positions. But in the case of abortion funding, the hyperbole is a strategic necessity. They can’t admit that there’s a respectable reason for not wanting one’s tax dollars to go to abortion clinics, because if they let people stop to consider what that reason is, then the game is all but lost. Their critics’ rationale and results must be senseless death or suffering, because nothing less can counterbalance the immorality of what they’re defending.
The key to dealing with the Rick Ungars of the world is simple: as long as you recognize the falsehood and insincerity of the attacks, there’s no need to feel shamed or intimidated by them. When the truth’s on your side, nothing can stop you—unless you let it.