Republicans in Wisconsin State Senate Pass Dangerous Abortion Ban
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin (PPAWI) Continues To Fight For Women’s Health
MADISON — Despite strenuous objections from medical experts representing every major mainstream medical organization in Wisconsin, all 19 Republicans in the Wisconsin State Senate voted to pass a ban on abortion without any meaningful exceptions for a woman’s health or rape and incest victims. The bill bans abortions after 20 weeks “postfertilization.” It is unclear exactly what this deadline means since this is not how physicians date pregnancy. The bill is opposed by the Wisconsin Section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the Wisconsin Medical Society, the Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians, and the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics because of the dangers to a woman’s health and wellbeing.
On Monday, a group of over 70 independent obstetrician-gynecologists directed a letter to members of the Senate opposing the ban because “SB 179 would block Wisconsin ob-gyns from being able to treat our patients in a medically appropriate and humane manner. This bill would undoubtedly place us in the unconscionable position of having to watch our patients and their loved ones undergo emotional trauma, illness and suffering during what is already a difficult time.”
Women’s health champions sustained almost four hours of debate in highlighting the dangers of SB 179. Senator Erpenbach highlighted the danger of passing SB 179 without a meaningful health exemption by exclaiming, “How bad does it have to get for a woman before a doctor feels they have the legal protection to take care of their patient’s health?” Senator Shilling agreed by adding, “We should not prevent doctors from delivering the best possible health care or put women’s health and lives at risk.”
“It’s shameful that politicians are playing doctor and taking away options from women and families in unimaginably challenging medical situations,” said Tanya Atkinson, Executive Director of PPAWI. “Health care should not be political. These are decisions a woman deserves to make with her family and her doctor — without interference from Wisconsin legislators.”
Abortion later in pregnancy is very rare. In 2013, 89 abortions in Wisconsin occurred after 20 weeks, and these very often involve severe fetal anomalies or a serious risk to the woman’s health. In fact, no provider in Wisconsin provides voluntary terminations after 20 weeks unless it is medically indicated. These are extremely complex situations where a woman, her family, and her doctor need every medical option available.
“At PPAWI, we listen to the experts, so we know that women in complicated medical situations need every option available,” said Atkinson. “We will continue to fight this dangerous abortion ban to stop it in the Assembly and stand up for Wisconsin women and families.”
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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“We won’t back down, we won’t be silenced, and we will stand in solidarity with our partners for protection of our rights, our safety and our health.”