Anti-abortion groups question grants by Wisconsin governor

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Anti-abortion groups in Wisconsin on Monday questioned whether Gov. Tony Evers legally awarded about $2.4 million in federal stimulus money to Planned Parenthood, a move they claimed violated a state law prohibiting the funding of abortions.

The groups, represented by the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, also said the grant programs appeared to be unlawfully created and unlawfully administered.

The letter sought more information from Evers, a Democrat, about how the legality of creating two grant programs without approval from the Republican-controlled Legislature and awarding the grants to Planned Parenthood.

Evers' spokeswoman Britt Cudaback had no immediate comment.

The letter from WILL was sent on behalf of Wisconsin Family Action, Wisconsin Right to Life and Pro-Life Wisconsin.

Wisconsin has received about $4.5 billion in federal coronavirus relief money from the federal government. All of that is under Evers' power to distribute.

However, WILL argues that Evers does not have the power to create new grant programs without approval of the Legislature. And even if he did, WILL argues, the governor must follow the established process for creating rules for the program.

Planned Parenthood received a received $1.4 million grant from one program in 2020 and a $1 million grant from another in February.