State Assembly passes bill prohibiting abortion coverage for pub - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

State Assembly passes bill prohibiting abortion coverage for public employees

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Republican lawmakers are moving ahead with more restrictions on abortion coverage for state employees.

The legislation specifically prohibits the Wisconsin Group Insurance Board from offering health insurance plans to state employees that cover the cost of an abortion - except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at risk.

Representative Andre Jacque (R-DePere) says Assembly Bill 128 very simple.

"Of course, we do not fund elective abortions through Medicaid, nor does the federal government fund them for federal employees," said Rep. Jacque. "So, this is really essentially making sure that, essentially, that the state taxpayers are not paying for elective abortions."

But Assembly Democrats say Representative Jacque's definition of elective abortions would cover instances that are from simple.

"Like a woman who might be pregnant and then tragically finds out that she has cancer," said Rep. Deb Kolste (D-Janesville).

"Basically saying that they don't want to deal with two things at the same time?," asked Rep. Jacque, in response to Kolste's example.

The State Assembly battled over the bill Thursday, which would eliminate any state coverage of abortions, even those a doctor may deem "medically necessary."

Democrats objected to that, and tried to amend the bill to ensure female state workers don't have to report a sexual assault to law enforcement in order to make sure an abortion that follows is covered under the rape exemption.

"Anyone that had been remotely paying attention to the news recently knows that the reports of sexual assault or rape do not always come to light immediately," said Rep. Kolste.

But Rep. Jacque contended that history has shown women will lie about rape to get an abortion.

"As we found with the Roe versus Wade, Jane Roe - who was Norma McCorvey - regretted her involvement in that decision, but of course there was an alleged rape, which never actually took place, she admitted," said Rep. Jacque.

Republicans ultimately rejected all Democratic amendments and passed the bill on a party line vote, 61-35.

AB 128 now moves on to the State Senate.

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