by Steven Ertelt
May 27, 2005
Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — A Wisconsin lawmaker has filed legislation that would ensure the University of Wisconsin system is not promoting the morning after pill to students. He’s concerned that a school clinic urged students heading to spring break to get the Plan B drug, which sometimes causes an abortion.
Rep. Daniel LeMahieu, a Republican, told members of a state legislative committee that his bill would prohibit clinics in the University of Wisconsin system from dispensing or prescribing the morning after pill.
LeMahieu pointed to ads in a campus newspaper at the University of Wisconsin-Madison obtained by the University Health Services. The encouraged students to call the clinic to obtain the drugs.
Kathleen Poi, executive director of University Health Services at UW-Madison, admitted to the Associated Press that the ads were poorly worded. She said she wishes she could have redone the ads, but said she sees no problem with making students aware of the sometimes abortion-causing drug.
Dr. Leslie Markman of Amherst also testified at the hearing, according to an AP report, and said she worried that teenagers and college students will engage in more risky sex if they have a false sense that the pills will protect them from sexually transmitted diseases.
Rep. Terese Berceau, a Democrat, said he opposed the legislation because he claims the pills reduce the number of abortions.
However, a study at the University of California at San Francisco found making the controversial drug more available has no effect on reducing pregnancy rates and that making it available over the counter doesn’t mean women will use it more.
This isn’t the first time the state of Wisconsin has dealt with controversy surrounding morning after pills.
Last August, Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager determined that all employers in Wisconsin must now include contraceptives, including the sometimes-abortifacient Plan B drugs.
Lautenschlager said she issued the formal opinion, which can be cited in court opinions, in response to a request from Department of Health and Family Services Secretary Helene Nelson.
Pro-life groups and businesses were unhappy with the decision.
The morning after pill bill is AB 343.