University of Wisconsin Doctors Planned New Madison Abortion Center for Years

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 1, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

University of Wisconsin Doctors Planned New Madison Abortion Center for Years

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 28
, 2010

Madison, WI ( — The new abortion facility at the Madison Surgery Center, a joint venture between UW Hospital and Clinics, Meriter Hospital and the UW Medical Foundation, hasn’t yet started abortions. But new documents pro-life groups have obtained show plans for the abortion center were in the works for years.

The documents also confirm UW is already involved in research using body parts from the babies victimized by abortions.

Last year, pro-life groups including the Alliance Defense Fund, Pro-Life Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Right to Life exposed the plan for the new UW abortion center and led opposition to it.

Now, recently-obtained documents, requested under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal abortion practitioners Caryn Dutton and Laurel Rice have been working towards this plan for years and purposely kept it secret from the Madison Surgery Center (MSC) staff.

Peggy Hamill, state director of Pro-Life Wisconsin, provided information to about what she found.

“We will not remain silent while the University of Wisconsin and Meriter Hospital leaders publicly sanction the senseless killing of the most vulnerable members of the human family,” she said.

Hamill said the documents include a November 2008 email from Cheryl Wilson, Administrative Director at the MSC, to Peter Christman of the UWMF, planning for the MSC to do late-term abortions.

The letter appears to show a concerted effort to keep the plans for the abortion center hushed.

“We preferred to meet at 20 S. Park St. instead of 1 S. Park St. so MSC staff did not see us meeting and inquire about the reason for the meeting," the letter says.

In another document PLW underscored, Caryn Dutton wrote that a start date of February 1, 2009, “would be disappointing.” Dutton also stated, “I would love for the [abortion] services to be immediately available.”

A letter sent on UW-Madison School of Medicine letterhead to the Planned Parenthood Consortium of Abortion Providers is another file the pro-life group obtained.

Laurel Rice, who signed the letter as Chair, Ob/Gyn Dept, UW-Madison School of Medicine, says, "The provision of abortion care is so central to my commitment to health care and leadership in the department, I will personally start to provide abortion care at PPWI’s comprehensive center one day a month beginning November 1, 2008. And I am excited to do so.”

The letter raised the eyebrows of Elizabeth Bolt, Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs UW School of Medicine, who said in a July 2008 email: “The issue is whether this crosses the line of violating the state statute of university resources being used to support abortion services. I don’t think it does but sometimes politically, the perception is as important as the reality.

Bolt continues, "I don’t want this letter to cause the legislature to scrutinize this area more closely or even worse, expand the statute. Right now, I think we’ve found a way to provide this training within the boundaries of the statute and I don’t want to jeopardize that.”

The files also show the MSC paid for Dutton and two others to take a December 2008 trip to the University of North Carolina to observe how late-term abortions are done there.

And a research document includes a description of a study done at UW-Madison, transplanting fetal pancreatic tissue to diabetic patients. The document states, “The pancreas fragments are obtained from medical facilities where legal abortions are carried out.”

Hamill notes that Wisconsin law prohibits taxpayer funding of abortions but, currently, School of Medicine Ob/Gyn students have a rotation at Planned Parenthood, where they participate in abortions.

Hamill promised that "these institutions can be assured pro-lifers will stand up for innocent pre-born babies.”

The group plans to continue conducting peaceful prayer rallies, TV commercials, education and raising public awareness about the UW abortion plans.

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