MADISON (WKOW) — Five anti-abortion bills received their first hearing at the state capitol; all were introduced by Republicans, but they are unlikely to become law without support from Democratic Governor Tony Evers.
The highest profile proposal is the so-called “born alive bill” which would require doctors to provide medical care for babies who are born alive after a failed abortion. The proposal would also make it a felony with the possibility of doctors serving prison time.
Governor Evers has vowed to veto the legislation arguing there’s already protections and criminal penalties in place. Wisconsin already has a 20-week abortion ban in place.
Health officials say it’s unclear if these types of births happen in the state as current law doesn’t require doctors to track them.
Republican lawmakers also introduced proposals that would cut off Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood and prohibit abortions based on the fetus’ sex, race or defects. Another would require providers to tell women who ask for medication to begin the abortion process there’s a possibility it might not work.
GOP authors testifying at the Assembly Health Committee defended their bills.
“I was shocked to hear that we have no state laws that tell medical providers how they should act towards born alive abortion survivors,” said Rep. Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna). “Making this clarification for healthcare providers to provide the same care as they would any other infant is such a simple step that could save babies’ lives.”
Democrats argued there’s no proof these procedures happen in Wisconsin and called Republicans filing of the bills “political.”
“It seems clear to me…that the goal here is to make it more challenging for doctors to comfortably provide safe and legal, constitutionally guaranteed health care to women,” said Rep. Lisa Subeck, (D-Madison).
“Assembly Republicans are following the lead of President Trump, advancing their inflammatory and politically motivated anti-women’s health agenda in an attempt to mislead and divide us.”
Dozens from the public also showed up to testify either for or against the proposals.
Most of the bills will be up for a vote on the Assembly floor next week.