MADISON, Wis. — Hot on the heels of rejecting initiatives in Gov. Tony Evers’ “People’s Budget” to improve health care access, Republicans in control of the state Senate are poised to intervene in health care decisions being made by Wisconsin women. On the agenda for the first session of the state Senate in nearly two months are dangerous new abortion bans and legislation requiring doctors provide women information deemed “unproven and unethical“ by experts.
“Women neither need nor want Republican state legislators making health care decisions for them,” commented One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Analiese Eicher. “Instead of pursuing dangerous abortion bans and pushing misleading information on women, their time would be better spent working together to make health care better in Wisconsin.”
As part of his 2019-21 state budget proposal, Gov. Evers included a “Healthy Women, Healthy Babies” initiative to improve women’s access to preventative and maternal care and to address shocking racial disparities in the health of women and babies. The plan was made possible by a Medicaid expansion that would also help expand access to affordable health care, in addition to making available additional funding.
Instead of working productively with Gov. Evers and Democrats, Republicans in control of the state Senate are instead bringing to the floor a series of bills that would impose dangerous new restrictions on the ability of women to make their own reproductive decisions.
One bill on the Senate agenda is an abortion ban similar to one from Indiana that was struck down by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, whose jurisdiction includes Wisconsin. The U.S. Supreme Court recently did not take up an appeal of the Seventh Circuit decision, therefore allowing the lower court decision to stand.
Republicans are also considering legislation directing doctors to give women information about medication-based abortion that the experts at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have termed this “unproven and unethical.”
Eicher concluded, “By pushing bills they know will never become law, the willingness of Republicans to inject their partisan politics into medical decisions and impose their beliefs on women is exposed.”