by Steven Ertelt
November 9, 2005
Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — Wisconsin lawmakers on Tuesday approved a measure that would require abortion practitioners to tell women considering an abortion after 20 weeks that it would cause her baby severe pain. Despite its approval, Governor Jim Doyle plans to veto the measure.
Lawmakers passed Assembly Bill 321 by a 61-34 margin after intense debate.
Under the measure, women would receive the fetal pain information and be allowed to have anesthesia administered to the baby before the abortion. Pro-life groups strongly supported the measure and hope it will persuade women to opt against an abortion.
"Some of us want people to know so they think before they do something that they will regret for the rest of their life," said Republican Assembly Speaker John Gard, according to an Associated Press report. "I don’t think it’s too much to ask."
Doyle, a pro-abortion Democrat, has previously vetoed a measure that would have banned all forms of human cloning. Doyle spokesman Dan Leistikow said the governor would veto this pro-life measure as well.
"Medical decisions should be made by you and your doctor, not you, your doctor and the Legislature," said Leistikow.
Barbara Lyons, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life, says the bill is needed because, "The vast majority of Wisconsin citizens would want a woman to know that if her unborn child is going to feel pain from the abortion procedure that she should be informed about it."
Several experts in embryology have said unborn children have the capacity to feel pain and several told lawmakers that’s the case. They include Steven Calvin, perinatologist at the University of Minnesota; Robert J. White, professor of neurosurgery at Case Western University; and Paul Ranalli, neurologist at the University of Toronto.
Despite the research, abortion advocates and the Wisconsin Medical Society oppose the bill.
Last week, the Assembly approved a measure changing the state’s parental notification law into one that requires a parent to approve a teen’s abortion before it can be performed. That measure must receive Senate approval before heading to Doyle, who will likely veto that measure too.
Earlier, Doyle vetoed a measure that would have expanded conscience clause protections for medical personnel.