According to the Journal Sentinel, family planning services in Wisconsin will be offered to men under a two-year budget provision. This means that a state program called the family planning waiver – which already provides health care and contraceptives to 47,800 low-income women ages 15 to 45 – will be similarly available to men. This includes "family planning office visits with doctors, as well as supplies and services, including condoms, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases."
Nicole Safar, the legal and policy analyst for Planned Parenthood, said:
"It’s not so much in the culture for men to go to the doctor once a year and talk about these things."
Now that it’s offered, is it too optimistic to think that this fact might change?
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Regardless, the policy is a money saver. If the 2,870 expected men join the program, it’ll cost about $175 per person. Thankfully, this would avert about 375 Medicaid funded births, according to state officials, which would mean a savings of about $2 million for the state.
Given the fact that this merely extends existing family planning to more people, opponents are grasping to find ways to criticize the provision. First, pro-abortion critics say that the policy should have been implemented in separate legislation, which doesn’t make any sense of it already applies to half the populace of Wisconsin, and you’re simply allowing the other half to join in.
The second criticism is that, because the program will be available to teens ages 15 to 17, this somehow interferes with parental rights. It isn’t clear how allowing more options interferes in this way, and opponents didn’t explain beyond merely stating this point. It’s an empty rehash of the inexplicable arguments against similar programs.
The last criticism – the least reasonable of them all – comes from Matt Sande, director of legislation for Pro-Life Wisconsin:
"Government shouldn’t be forcing government and private health insurers to cover drugs and devices that are purely elective."
My question for Sande is, what drugs aren’t elective? It’s pretty much always your call if you choose to go to the doctor to get a prescription or a "device."
Despite these criticisms, the program will be availble, and a fair and helpful provision will become more so.