Early Winter 2015
-Planned Parenthood announces that they will need to close four clinics in Wisconsin due to elimination of state funding.
-The United States Supreme Court declines to hear an appeal of Wisconsin's voter photo ID law. This means that Wisconsin voters must now present a valid form of identification and a signature at the polls, a complex issue for college students, those without a driver license, and individuals with outlier circumstances.
-The Supreme Court votes to uphold the legal right to federal subsidies for low-income Americans.
- Governor Scott Walker signs a bill that outlaws non-emergency abortions at or beyond 20 weeks. This bill does not allow exceptions in the case of incest or rape.
-The American Association of University Women (AAUW) releases a report showing the gender pay gap for Wisconsin women, right down to how women in certain Wisconsin districts fair worse than women in other Wisconsin districts. The median earning for men in Wisconsin is $47,518 compared to $37,481 for women.
-The Wisconsin State Assembly passes a bill that further cuts funding to Planned Parenthood and other community health centers, and allows healthcare providers to refuse to provide family planning, birth control, and cancer and STI screening services to patients.
-Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Insurance Bill is introduced and would guarantee Wisconsin workers paid leave in order to take care of serious health conditions—of their own or of a family member—or care for a new baby.
-Patients Reproductive Health Act is introduced and believes that patients should have the freedom and safety to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions.
-The Affordable Care Act open enrollment is resulting in a high level of participation, sure to pass 10 million enrollees in the next few months.
-AB 310 and AB 311, known as the Right to Life Bills, are introduced and would redirect about $7.5 million annually of taxpayer money away from Wisconsin’s Planned Parenthood clinics and would ban Wisconsin family-planning centers from “overbilling” the state for prescriptions.
Late Winter 2015
-Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, withstands a five hour hearing defending and combating questions raised by the House Oversight Committee regarding women’s health.
-Paul Ryan, House Speaker and Wisconsin native, brings light to the importance of balancing family and work, yet remains firmly against expanding paid family leave.
Clearly, it has been quite the year.
There’s plenty of work to be done for the upcoming elections and we want to help you be the most effective advocate for women’s health. Stay tuned for monthly blog posts, timely information, and exciting opportunities for the pro-women voter. Together we can make sure that policy happens with us in 2016 rather than to us.
Until next year,
-Leah Voskuil, Intern