Do State Legislature’s Republicans Think They Are More Qualified to Make Health Care Decisions Than Wisconsin Women, Their Doctors and Their Families?

MADISON, Wis. — Does being a state legislator qualify you to make potentially life or death medical decisions and dictate medical procedures for the women of Wisconsin? According to One Wisconsin Now’s Research Director, Attorney Jenni Dye, that’s the message being sent to Wisconsin women by supporters of a new abortion ban that could mandate a woman terminating a dangerous pregnancy to save her life undergo a cesarean section (c-section).

“Getting elected to the state legislature doesn’t give you a medical degree. Difficult decisions about the health and lives of Wisconsin women should be made by women themselves along with their families,” said Dye. “And the medical procedures they might undergo should be recommended by their doctor based on their knowledge and training, not dictated by politicians in Madison.”

The new abortion ban proposed by legislative Republicans (Assembly Bill 237/Senate Bill 179) receiving a public hearing in the Assembly and Senate Health Committees on Tuesday includes provisions that could force a woman terminating a pregnancy to save her life to undergo an invasive cesarean section (c-section) surgery that dramatically increases the chance of injury to or death of the mother.

In an interview last week, nationally recognized women’s reproductive health expert, Dr. Douglas Laube, in response to questions about the bill said, “…what it actually means in certain cases is that cesarean section — which really is a concept applicable much later in pregnancy — a cesarean delivery would need to be done…”

Dr. Laube went on to say that the government mandating a woman to undergo a c-section, “Becomes a matter of patient safety as it pertains to her morbidity and her mortality,” increasing the chances of serious injury to or death of the mother by five to eight times.

In addition to the radical provisions that could result in government mandated c-sections for Wisconsin women, there are no exceptions for victims of rape or incest.

Dye concluded, “Any state legislator that supports this bill is inserting themselves into somewhere they have no business by taking away the ability of Wisconsin women to make decisions, with their families and their doctors, about their own care. And they’re declaring that their status as a legislator makes them better qualified than doctors to make decisions about specific medical procedures. That’s not just offensive, that’s dangerous.”

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