Wisconsin Governor Says He will Likely Veto Pro-Life Conscience Clause
by Steven Ertelt
March 17, 2004
Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — Although it comes as no surprise to pro-life advocates, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, who backs abortion, says he will likely veto a pro-life bill that would provide an expanded conscience clause for medical professionals.
"I don’t believe people’s medical care should be determined by whether a particular medical practitioner has a problem with the treatment," Doyle told reporters.
The legislation would allow medical professionals to refuse to take part in procedures involving abortion, sterilization, destroying human embryos, and harvesting fetal tissue or organs.
The measure would also allow health care workers to invoke the conscience clause when confronted with demands to withhold food and water or assist in suicide or euthanasia.
State Rep. Jean Hundertmark, R-Clintonville, is the sponsor of the legislation. She said she was saddened to learn Doyle’s of views on the bill.
"We’re not prohibiting any procedures from taking place," Hundertmark told the Associated Press. She said the legislation’s only intent is to protect the rights of health care workers from being forced to participate in objectionable activities.
Pro-life groups strongly support the legislation and Susan Armacost, Legislative Director of Wisconsin Right to Life, previously said she "hope[d] that Governor Doyle [would] come to the conclusion that forcing health care professionals and facilities to participate in the activities outlined in AB 67 is just plain wrong."
Paul Wertsch, president of the State Medical Society of Wisconsin, said his group opposes the legislation and he is happy Doyle intends to veto the bill.
"For the sake of those health care professionals and facilities who do not want to be involved in the deliberate destruction of human life, this legislation richly deserves to be enacted into law," Armacost countered.
Under the bill, hospitals would not be forced to admit patients for anti-life procedures. Also, a hospital or other employer could not take action against a medical professional who refused to participate in an anti-life activity.
ACTION: Contact Governor Doyle with your opinions about the pro-life legislation. You can send an email by using the form at https://www.wisgov.state.wi.us/contact.asp