The Women’s Health Block Grant is funded by Wisconsin’s General Purpose Revenue (GPR) and the Title V Maternal Child Health (MCH) grant provided by the federal government. States provide a $3 match for every $4 in federal funding. The money from these grants are distributed to local public health departments and private organizations that provide critical health and social services to Wisconsinites. Services provided include: cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), patient education and counseling, pregnancy diagnosis, prenatal counseling, referrals and other health services.
The 2011-2013 biennial budget cut the Women’s Health Block Grant by 10% ($470,000). The Governor did not reinvest this money in the 2013-2015 budget. Simultaneously, funding was eliminated for any clinic that offered all option pregnancy counseling as well as all clinics affiliated with an organization that either performed or referred patients to abortion providers. This caused five Planned Parenthood clinics (none of which provided abortion services) to close between April 2013 and June 2014 in Shawano, Chippewa Falls, Johnson Creek, Beaver Dam, and Fond du Lac. Approximately 3,000 women in Wisconsin are affected by the closing of these clinics.
The Governor’s proposed budget continues to fund the Women’s Health Block Grant at $1,742,000 annually. This is the same funding level as the 2013-2015 budget despite the 10% cut to the Women’s Health Block Grant in the 2011-2013 biennial budget.
Final 2015-2017 Women's Health Block Grant Budget
The Legislature approved the Governor's proposed Women's Health Block Grant in its entirety.
The failure of the governor’s budget to reinvest in the women’s health block grant will likely mean that many women who need the preventive care provided by the program will go unserved. Services funded under the women’s health block grant help improve women's health and are cost-effective for Wisconsin taxpayers because they help avoid costly, negative health outcomes. For example, publicly funded family planning centers saved Wisconsin over $171,000,000 in public funds in 2010.