Wisconsin Pro-Life Group Worried About Tax-Funded Abortions in Health Plan

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 31, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Wisconsin Pro-Life Group Worried About Tax-Funded Abortions in Health Plan

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 31,

Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — Wisconsin lawmakers who are considering a new statewide health insurance plan could undo 30 years of protecting taxpayers from being forced to fund abortions. That’s the concern Wisconsin Right to Life has about the Healthy Wisconsin plan the legislature has under consideration.

Susan Armacost, the legislative director for Wisconsin Right to Life, shared her concerns in a statement sent to LifeNews.com.

"If the Healthy Wisconsin state health insurance plan is adopted by the budget conference committee, 30 years of protecting Wisconsin taxpayers from paying for most abortions will be wiped out," she explained.

"Wisconsin taxpayers could be put in the terrible position of paying for the abortions of any Wisconsin woman…for any reason…at any time during pregnancy," Armacost added.

The pro-life group has asked State Senate to add language to Healthy Wisconsin to clarify that Wisconsin’s current law that prohibits tax dollars to pay for most abortions would apply to the Healthy Wisconsin plan.

However, the effort to add the clarification failed and now WRTL is looking to the conference committee to defeat the bill entirely rather than trying again to get language added stopping taxpayer-funded abortions.

Armacost says the reason for the change in tactic has to do with the stridently pro-abortion position of Governor Doyle.

"It became abundantly clear to us that even if the conference committee would add the clarifying language, Governor Doyle would likely use his line-item veto power to remove the clarifying language," Armacost said.

"Wisconsin taxpayers would then be left with a universal health care plan that forces taxpayers to foot the bill for unrestricted abortion in our state," she added. "We cannot stand by and allow that to happen."

Armacost’s concerns are well-founded given Doyle’s history of supporting tax-funded abortions.

In 1995, then-Attorney General James Doyle was asked to issue an opinion on the applicability of the law prohibiting state funded abortions to health insurance plans provided for state and local government employees by the Group Insurance Board (GIB).

In February 1995, Doyle issued an opinion claiming that "monies used to fund state employee insurance plans are not ‘state or local funds’ and that, therefore, the GIB is not subject to the limitation of" the abortion funding prohibition.

Wisconsin Right to Life strenuously objected at that time to the Attorney General’s 1995 opinion because he completely disregarded the fact that taxpayers pay for the health care plans of state and local employees.

Armacost worries that if Healthy Wisconsin becomes part of the budget, that plan would cover all Wisconsin residents and Wisconsin taxpayers would foot the bill for all abortions, for any reason.

She says that polls have shown that about 60-70 percent of Wisconsin residents do not want their tax money used to pay for abortions.

TAKE ACTION: Go to https://www.legis.state.wi.us to find contact information for your state legislators and urge opposition to the Healthy Wisconsin plan because it would promote taxpayer funded abortions.

Related web sites:
Wisconsin Right to Life – https://www.wrtl.org