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Wisconsin Senate passes four abortion-restricting bills

By
Darryl Coote
Wisconsin's Republican-controlled Senate passed four abortion-restriction bills Wednesday that appear they will hit a dead end when they land on Democratic Gov. Tony Evers's desk as he has vowed to veto them. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI
Wisconsin's Republican-controlled Senate passed four abortion-restriction bills Wednesday that appear they will hit a dead end when they land on Democratic Gov. Tony Evers's desk as he has vowed to veto them. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

June 5 (UPI) -- Wisconsin's Republican-controlled Senate passed four abortion-restricting bills Wednesday, sending them to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers who has promised to veto them.

One bill would send a doctor to prison for life for not providing medical care to a fetus born during an attempted abortion.

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The bill passed along party lines with the exception of Republican Sen. Andre Jacque, who said it did not go far enough, wanting the mother to be charged with a felony.

The other bills would ban abortions due the sex or disability of the fetus, require doctors to inform women who have taken one of two doses of medicine that result in abortion that they can continue with the pregnancy if they wished and to end funding for non-abortion services to Planned Parenthood.

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The bills passed last month through the Republican-controlled Assembly. With the Senate's actions Wednesday, the bills will now land on Evers' desk where they will most likely die.

"We shouldn't be limiting the right for women to make their own healthcare decisions," Evers said in a May 21 tweet. "That's why I'll veto the bills passed by the Assembly last week if they arrive on my desk."

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"It's time to listen to women," he said.

Democratic Sen. Jennifer Shilling criticized state Republicans for focusing on abortions instead of passing legislation that would prevent the need for them in the first place.

"It is a horrific fact that right here in Wisconsin, we have the worst racial disparities for infant mortality in the nation," she said in a Twitter thread. "Rather than take meaningful action, Republicans pushed through a series of problematic bills that do nothing to help improve birth outcomes."

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Wisconsin ranks first in the nation as of 2016 data with 14.6 non-Hispanic black infant deaths for every 1,000 live births, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

"Given the lack of diversity in the Senate Republican caucus, it makes it difficult to have an open and honest discussion about improving better birth outcomes for women and especially women of color," she said. "Republicans should be focused on policy that improves the health of moms and babies in our state, like expanding Medicaid and supporting Evers' Health Women, Healthy Babies proposal."

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During the session, Republicans focused on the "born alive" legislation concerning providing medical attention to babies born post-abortion procedures.

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Republican Senate President Roger Roth said it should have garnered support across party lines as it is concerned with a child who is born.

"Regardless of where you stand on abortion, I think we can all agree, that if a child is born alive, even due to a failed abortion, they ought to be provided immediate medical care so they have a fighting chance to survive," he said on Twitter.

Sean Duffy, congressman for Wisconsin's 7th district, applauded the Senate on passing the abortion-restricting bills, urging Evers to sign them into law.

"Evers knows that we expect him to do the right thing: sign the bill," he said on Twitter.

The bills passed as several states, including Louisiana and Mississippi, have intensified the debate over abortion in the country by passing or are considering passing controversial anti-abortion legislature.

On May 30, Louisianan Gov. John Bel Edwards sighed into law a ban against abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy while on May 24, a federal judge issued an injunction against a similar bill in Mississippi.

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