by Steven Ertelt
October 14, 2005
Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed legislation on Friday that would help medical professionals from being forced to participate in anti-life practices such as abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research and human cloning. The Democrat claimed the bill would cut off needed medical services.
"Because it puts a doctor’s political views ahead of the best interests of patients, this legislation ought to be called the ‘unconscionable clause,”’ Gov. Jim Doyle said in a statement. "It is a disservice to patients and to our health care system."
Doyle vetoed a similar bill in 2004 and Wisconsin Right to Life legislative director Susan Armacost said the governor’s actions would make it tough on medical workers who feel pressured to participate in such acts.
"They feel it’s very necessary,” she told the Associated Press. "The whole atmosphere is not very amenable to people who don’t want to kill their patients."
The conscience clause legislation would protect medical staff who don’t want to be required by their employers to participate in abortions, euthanasia, assisted suicides, sterilizations, in vitro fertilization, embryonic stem cell research or human cloning.
The conscience clause bill received a 21-12 vote in the state Senate after pro-abortion lawmakers offered 11 weakening amendments, all of which failed.
Planned Parenthood spokesperson Chris Taylor says his group opposes the bill because it claims it makes it more difficult for patients to obtain the services mentioned in the bill.
Dr. Cody Nikolai, a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin Medical School said UW let him out of certain activities that violated his conscience, such as research on frozen human embryos.
However, he told WMTV that other students were worried they would face repercussions and felt they couldn’t stand up for their pro-life beliefs.
"I felt the UW was very understanding, but staff changes and I think we need something that’s going to guarantee over time that students are going to be protected and allow them to practice their conscience," he said.