Wisconsin Planned Parenthood Clinics Begin Closing After State Eliminates Funding

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 26:  Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at the podium ahead of the Republican National Convention at the T
TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 26: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at the podium ahead of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 26, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. The RNC is scheduled to convene on August 27 and will hold its first full-day session on August 28 as Tropical Storm Isaac threatens disruptions due to its proximity to the Florida peninsula. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Planned Parenthood began the process of shuttering a number of its Wisconsin clinics late last week, a move the women's health provider says is due to a measure pushed by Gov. Scott Walker (R) and state Republicans to strip it of state funding.

On Friday, the Planned Parenthood clinic in Shawano, Wis., closed its doors, Fox 11 reported, becoming the first of four planned closures announced in February.

"Governor's Walker's decision to turn away federal resources that would fill health coverage gaps in Wisconsin, coupled with his budget proposal to end BadgerCare coverage for women making over $11,490 a year is a challenge to the future of women's health," Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin CEO Teri Huyck said in a statement, according to CBS 58.

HuffPost's Laura Bassett reported in February on the legislative action that Planned Parenthood said forced it to announce the closures:

Gov. Scott Walker (R) and the Republican-controlled state legislature passed a budget in 2011 that eliminates public funding for low-income and uninsured patients seeking reproductive health care at Planned Parenthood, the largest provider in the state, because some of its clinics offer abortions. The budget cuts defunded nine family planning health centers, which provide birth control, cervical and breast cancer screenings, annual exams, STD testing and treatment, Well Women Exams, pregnancy testing, and HIV testing.

Three other clinics, in Chippewa Falls, Beaver Dam and Johnson Creek, are set to close by July. Altogether, Planned Parenthood estimates that more than 2,000 patients will be affected by the closures.

In February, officials with Planned Parenthood said they would continue providing health services at the 23 remaining centers across Wisconsin.

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