by Steven Ertelt
January 31, 2008
Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — A Wisconsin Assembly panel held a hearing on a bill that is a second attempt to ban partial-birth abortions there after the first try was found unconstitutional. With the Supreme Court ruling a national ban constitutional last year, Wisconsin pro-life groups are hopeful this ban will be more successful in court if challenged.
Wisconsin approved a ban in 1998 only to see a federal appeals court declare it void because of a Supreme Court decision saying a similar Nebraska ban was unconstitutional.
In April 2007, the high court determined that a national ban was constitutional and didn’t need a health exception because the abortion procedure is never medically necessary to protect a woman’s health.
The Assembly Judiciary and Ethics Committee heard from the legislative director of Wisconsin Right to Life, Susan Armacost, and a nurse who both described the horror of the three-day-long abortion procedure.
Nurse Brenda Pratt-Shafer talked about how she was assigned by her nursing agency to an abortion business.
Since she considered herself to be very pro-choice, and didn’t think this assignment would be a problem. She told the committee about witnesses a partial-birth abortion and how it repulsed her.
According to an AP report, Rep. Gordon Hintz, a Democrat, told them to "tone it down" when talking about how the abortion practitioner partially births the baby in the abortion procedure and jams scissors in her neck to kill her.
Sen. Scott Fitzgerald and Rep. Mark Gundrum, both Republicans, have introduced the Wisconsin Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (AB 710) that would mirror the language found in the national partial-birth abortion ban.
Lawmakers could have a more difficult time passing the ban than they did earlier, since Gov. Jim Doyle backs abortion.
Abortion advocates have attacked the bill, saying it’s unnecessary, but Wisconsin Right to Life told LifeNews.com there are several reasons to have a state ban in place.
"Even though there is a federal ban on the gruesome late-term partial-birth abortion procedure, a state ban is necessary in order to permit local officials to become involved in violations of the ban," Armacost said.
"With only a federal ban on the procedure, prosecution of partial-birth abortion cases could only be handled by federal prosecutors," she added. "Prosecutions of partial-birth abortion cases would be best handled when state and local prosecutors also have the tools they need to ensure that the ban on partial-birth abortions is expeditiously enforced."
Related web sites:
Wisconsin Right to Life – https://www.wrtl.org