Groups react to abortion bills passing in the state Assembly - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Groups react to abortion bills passing in the state Assembly


MADISON (WKOW) -- There are mixed feelings after Wisconsin lawmakers passed three abortion bills this week. Several groups are speaking out.

The debate on the Assembly floor was heated and emotional at times, but for advocates who have spent years debating this issue, the emotional connection is even greater.

"It is very emotional. That was not easy testimony and debate to hear yesterday (Thursday). It wasn't easy to hear it in the hearings," Wisconsin Family Action President Julaine Appling says.

Appling spent much of Thursday afternoon following the discussion. After hours of debate she was happy to see all three bills passed by the Assembly.

"I see that as a win-win," Appling says.

Two of the bills are on their way to the Senate. One bill would prohibit public employees from using their state funded health insurance to pay for abortions and would create an exception for religious organizations who don't want to pay for contraceptives. The other bill would crack down on gender selective abortions.

"What we did yesterday was say we value life in Wisconsin and we value women," Appling says.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin feels differently. The group is especially unhappy with the third bill which requires a woman to get an ultrasound before she can get an abortion.

The group's opinion is easily seen on its Facebook page with a banner that reads, "Stop Playing Games with Women's Health" and a video from Public Policy Director Nicole Safar asking voters to get involved in the discussion.

"Tell them that you don't think politicians should be making personal health care decisions for women and families," Safar says.

Planned Parenthood also released a statement from one of its doctors that read:

"It is absolutely unacceptable to mandate the way a physician should practice medicine and this law would jeopardize the doctor-patient relationship."

Lawmakers rejected all 13 of the amendments to the bills that Democrats proposed Thursday night. One of the bills, the one that requires ultrasounds, is headed to the governor's desk. The other two bills still have to be heard by the Senate.

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