No amount of drama seems to deter the impressively resolute Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose executive eye has been trained on balancing the budget since Day 1. The governor who withstood the pressure of pronounced union protests against his first proposed budget repair bill yesterday signed a new budget that would controversially cut funding for Planned Parenthood. The Daily Caller reports:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, signed a state budget Sunday that cut spending on education and health clinics, including Planned Parenthood centers, reported National Journal.
[Not] surprisingly, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin denounced the budget. The group, which runs 27 centers statewide, says that services like cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, and birth control will be cut back. Conservatives have targeted the group because it also provides abortion services.
Julaine Appling of the organization Wisconsin Family Action said, “If organizations want to do that, we’re not saying they don’t have the right to do that under the law. While we disagree with abortions entirely, they do have that right … [But] we don’t have to use taxpayer money to do that.”
Certainly, it makes sense to cut funding for questionable clinics. Wisconsin isn’t the only state to want to ensure no taxpayer dollars go to abortion procedures that, all too often, yield negative unintended emotional and physical consequences. Kansas and North Carolina have also cut off funds to Planned Parenthood. (Indiana likewise passed a law to limit funding, but U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt last Friday temporarily halted enforcement.)
But the broader story of this budget is even more important than the specific cuts it entails. Walker campaigned on a promise to balance the budget and he has remained committed to that promise. Sunday’s budget represents a victory for more than this or that faction — for groups who favor defunding Planned Parenthood or for promoters of school choice, for example. (The budget also expands Milwaukee’s successful school voucher program.)
No, Sunday’s budget represents a victory for anyone who values honesty and integrity, who thinks campaign promises should be kept, who is willing to sacrifice for the sake of living according to the restrictions of reality. It’s so obvious it’s easy to forget to say it: Wisconsin quite simply can’t afford to fund Planned Parenthood! Walker deserves the reputation he has earned on the right — as a realistic and determined governor who, through his campaign, gained the support of the electorate and who, through his transparent administration, plans to keep it — even when special interest groups attempt to hijack the debate.