The state's budget committee considers including guys in the state's Medicaid Family Planning Demonstration Project.
Low-income women and girls already receive free, taxpayer-funded family planning services and information on reproductive health care. Now, the Joint Finance Committee is scheduled to vote on expanding the program to include boys and men aged 15-44. Pro-Life Wisconsin opposes expanding the measure, saying contraceptive availability encourages sexual promiscuity, but Planned Parenthood disagrees.
"People are having sex. I mean, whether or not they have access to reproductive health care services really doesn't affect that. What is does affect is whether or not people are healthy and whether they are making healthy decisions."
Nicole Safar, Policy and Legal Analyst with Planned Parenthood, says believe it or not, Wisconsin's sexually transmitted infection rates are sky high.
"We have the highest Chlamydia rate in the entire Midwest, higher than Illinois, higher than Minnesota. We have the eighth highest Chlamydia rate in the country among young people … among our teens."
Safar believes men can benefit from the program, saying they can play a key role in preventing unplanned pregnancy and the transmission of sexual diseases, including HIV/AIDS. The state Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimates that including males into Wisconsin's program would save the state over 88-thousand dollars, by way of prevention.