Republicans in Wisconsin Assembly Disregard Medical Experts and Pass Dangerous Abortion Ban in Extraordinary Session
The ban was expedited for passage ahead of Governor Walker’s presidential announcement.
MADISON — Ignoring overwhelming medical opposition and the voices of Wisconsin women, Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly voted to pass an abortion ban after 20 weeks with no meaningful exceptions for a woman’s health, rape and incest victims, or lethal fetal anomalies. The ban was expedited for passage ahead of Governor Walker’s presidential announcement on Monday and passed on a party line vote.
Governor Walker called for this bill in March, as he courted favor from anti-women special interest groups, and is expected to sign it before his forthcoming presidential announcement. This is the fifth abortion restriction and 12th policy passed by Governor Walker that compromises women’s access to health services and information.
“It is reprehensible that Governor Walker and Republican leadership are putting politics ahead of women’s health and disregarding the advice of medical experts who are trained professionals,” said Tanya Atkinson, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin. “These are personal, private medical decisions that should be made by a woman and her family in consultation with her doctor, not by lawmakers trying to boost a governor’s presidential aspirations.”
The medical community is universally opposed to this bill. This week, 99 physicians signed a letter urging members of the Wisconsin Assembly and Governor Walker to stop this bill because it would “block Wisconsin ob-gyns from being able to treat our patients in a medically appropriate and humane manner.” This letter comes following similar pleas from experts at the Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians, Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Wisconsin Medical Society.
Abortion later in pregnancy is very rare. In 2013, 89 abortions in Wisconsin occurred after 20 weeks, most in the hospital setting and involving severe fetal anomalies or a dangerous risk to the woman’s health. In fact, no provider in Wisconsin provides non-medically indicated terminations after 22 weeks. These are extremely complex situations where a woman, her family, and her doctor need every medical option available.
“The passage of this dangerous abortion ban shows that opponents to women’s health are willing to ignore the Wisconsin medical community and families in our state who have spoken out in great numbers against this bill to score political points,” said Atkinson. “At Planned Parenthood, we will continue to ensure that all Wisconsin women have access to medically appropriate services and provide the high-quality, compassionate care our patients have come to expect.”
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin is the advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. PPAWI engages in legislative and educational activity and works to elect candidates to office that support these goals.
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