Wisconsin Planned Parenthood Campaign Targets Pro-Life Conscience Clause
by Maria Gallagher
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
April 16, 2004
Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — Planned Parenthood has announced plans to target Wisconsin lawmakers who voted in favor of a bill that would ensure that hospitals and health care professionals do not have to engage in objectionable activities such as abortion and euthanasia.
The nation’s biggest abortion operation is launching a "public information campaign" aimed at legislators who supported legislation known as the Conscience Clause bill, or Assembly Bill 67.
Chris Taylor, legislative director of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, said, "This bill turns our system of health care on its head by allowing a patient’s health care needs to be ignored. Wisconsin citizens should be outraged that their tax dollars are supporting
legislators who pass such harmful legislation."
But supporters of the bill say such claims are false.
"Planned Parenthood is engaging in a campaign of outright lies regarding this commonsense and much needed legislation," said Susan Armacost, legislative director of Wisconsin Right to Life.
"In order to garner opposition to AB 67, pro-abortion forces and others falsely claim that the legislation ‘would restrict access to health care.’
"The fact that Planned Parenthood considers abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia to be ‘health care’ is, in and of itself, outrageous. They don’t seem to understand that most people think it’s wrong to fire a member of the medical community or to slap them with a lawsuit because they don’t want to participate in the deliberate killing of vulnerable people," Armacost added.
The bill, which has been approved by both the Assembly and the State Senate, would protect the conscience rights of health care professionals and facilities so that they do not have to take part in activities which destroy human life.
Those activities would include abortion, assisted suicide, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, as well as research involving human tissue from aborted babies.
"Everyone recognizes that these particular activities are carried out for the express purpose of destroying human life," Armacost said.
"Within the medical profession, there are some individuals and facilities who want no part of these activities. But there are also some organizations, like Planned Parenthood, who want to force physicians, nurses, medical students, research assistants and others to participate in these activities against their will. Assembly Bill 67 would protect the conscience rights of medical professionals and facilities only in the specific areas defined in the legislation."
Governor Jim Doyle has announced his intent to veto the legislation, but Wisconsin Right to Life has requested a meeting with the Governor in order to answer his questions about the bill.
"Even though Governor Doyle has stated he plans to veto AB 67, it is important that he know the facts prior to taking any action on the bill," said Armacost. "Thus far, only the Planned Parenthoods of the world have had his ear on this issue. And now, we are asking for the opportunity to provide the Governor with accurate and truthful information regarding AB 67."
Doyle’s press office did not respond to LifeNews.com’s request for comment on the Governor’s position on the legislation.
Armacost notes that AB 67 does not ban any anti-life activities. It simply ensures that doctors and others are not forced to participate in such activities against their will.