by Steven Ertelt
September 5, 2007
Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — Abortion advocates in Wisconsin are going after pro-life groups and claiming they are misrepresenting a state health plan that could pave the way for taxpayer funded abortions. Wisconsin Right to Life says it opposes the Healthy Wisconsin plan the legislature has under consideration for that reason.
Susan Armacost, the legislative director for Wisconsin Right to Life, told LifeNews.com recently that if the health insurance plan is adopted by the budget conference committee, protections against funding abortions "will be wiped out."
Part of the problem with the plan revolves around the failure to adequately define the term “therapeutic abortion.”
While the intent of the term may be to limited abortions qualifying for state funds to extremely rare cases, Armacost says it will likely open the door to funding virtually all abortions.
Chris Taylor and Nicole Safar, representatives for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, say Wisconsin Right to Life is wrong.
“Healthy Wisconsin Plan’s limited coverage of medically necessary abortions is consistent with both state and federal law,” they said.
“The Healthy Wisconsin Plan only covers medically necessary abortions — those that are necessary to safeguard a women’s life, health or her future fertility,” they added. “[I]f a physician finds that a woman needs an abortion … only in those very limited circumstances would the services be covered.”
But Republican state Sen. Mary Lazich says the pro-life group’s analysis is correct.
“[A] lot of taxpayer dollars going for abortions … is not the norm,” Lazich told the Badger Herald newspaper.
She said that paying for abortions makes little sense because it will contribute to the already rising cost of health care.
The final decision on the plan won’t be made until the legislature approves the state budget.