Matt Rothschild
Campaign Cash

Campaign Clout of Anti-Abortion Groups

They support only Republicans, and want to end abortion coverage for state workers.

By - Feb 9th, 2017 10:50 am
Janel Brandtjen. Photo from the State of Wisconsin Blue Book 2015-16.

Janel Brandtjen. Photo from the State of Wisconsin Blue Book 2015-16.

GOP lawmakers are circulating a bill that would prohibit the state from offering insurance coverage to state workers for abortion in most cases. Anti-abortion groups in Wisconsin exercise influence more by outside election spending than by direct contributions to candidates.

In this case, the bill’s four sponsors collectively received about $1,300 in campaign contributions or outside electioneering support from Pro-Life Wisconsin, Wisconsin Right to Life, and Wisconsin Family Action between January 2010 and December 2016. The sponsors are Sen. David Craig, of Vernon, and Reps. Janel Brandtjen, of Menomonee Falls; Andre Jacque, of De Pere; and Ron Tusler, of Harrison.

Outside electioneering activities, like mailings, broadcast ads and robocalls, from anti-abortion organizations totaled about $159,700 between January 2010 and December 2016 – all to support Republicans and oppose Democrats seeking legislative and statewide offices. The top recipient of outside help by anti-abortion groups was Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who received about $23,900 in backing by the groups.

Overall, individual and political action committee contributions from anti-abortion groups totaled $9,450 between January 2010 and December 2016 to legislative and statewide candidates. All of those direct contributions went to Republicans, led by Walker, who received $1,650.

The bill specifically prohibits the state’s Group Insurance Board from offering any health plans to current and retired state workers and local governments that participate in the state insurance plan that pay for abortion services, except in cases of rape, incest or to save the mother’s life.

A similar bill was approved by the Assembly but failed to pass the Senate during the 2013-15 legislative session.

Wisconsin law already prohibits insurance coverage for abortion through Medicaid and state exchanges set up for the federal Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. The federal government and 21 states already restrict abortion coverage in their employee health insurance plans.

Matthew Rothschild is executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

Categories: Campaign Cash, Politics

2 thoughts on “Campaign Cash: Campaign Clout of Anti-Abortion Groups”

  1. daniel golden says:

    I try to respect the viewpoints of those who feel that a zygote is a person and all abortion is murder. I do not respect their attempt to use the power of government to compel all women to believe likewise. Many very spiritual people who belong to mainstream Protestant churches, Jewish temples, and moderate Catholics fell that abortion should be rare, legal and safe. Those who would compel a woman to become a mother irrespective of the totality of her circumstances claim that a respect for all life drives their viewpoints. I have found that uniformly these same people are in favor of capital punishment, and against a meaningful government safety net for children who are born in poverty and difficult circumstances. They are black and white thinkers until it is their own daughter who is in desperate circumstances and then the abortion becomes “a procedure” and “different” than other situations involving other females.

  2. Joe says:

    Not using taxpayer dollars to fund abortion does not equate to compel anyone to change their beliefs nor does it force anyone to givevbirth to a child they would have otherwise killed.

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