State Watch

Wisconsin legislature passes abortion restrictions governor promised to veto

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The Wisconsin Senate on Wednesday passed a series of restrictive abortion measures that Gov. Tony Evers (D) has vowed to veto.

The measures included the so-called “born alive” legislation, which requires health care providers to give care to babies who survive abortion attempts. The GOP-led body passed the bill in a 17-14 vote, with nearly every Republican voting for it and every Democrat voting against it, The Associated Press reported

GOP state Sen. André Jacque, who wanted stricter penalties in the bill,  was the only Republican to join Democrats and vote against the legislation.

If it became law, the “born alive” bill would reportedly enforce criminal penalties on doctors who did not provide necessary medical care to babies who survived abortion attempts. 

“No child should be left to die no matter how they came into this world,” Wisconsin Republican Senate President Roger Roth, the bill’s lead sponsor, said, according to AP. “How could anyone object to this?”

Democratic Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling slammed the legislation as a tool to fire up the conservative base, telling AP that Evers would veto the bill to prevent it from becoming law. 

The AP noted that Evers is expected to take action on the bill within days. 

The Wisconsin Senate reportedly passed three additional measures related to abortion, including one that bars a woman from having an abortion based on the  fetus’ race, sex or defects. The body also voted to cut off Medicaid funding for Panned Parenthood. 

Evers promised to veto the measures about week after the State Assembly approved a set abortion-related bills in May. 

“We shouldn’t be limiting the right for women to make their own healthcare decisions,” Evers said on Twitter. “That’s why I’ll veto the bills passed by the Assembly last week if they arrive on my desk. It’s time to listen to women.

Evers said earlier this year that he believed the state’s existing protections and criminal penalties addressed issues related to babies surviving abortion attempts. 

GOP-led legislatures around the country have moved to enforce further restrictions around abortions this year. Governors in Georgia, Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio have signed laws that ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, something that generally occurs within six weeks. 




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