University of Wisconsin Plan Sparks Debate Over Babies Surviving Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 7, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

University of Wisconsin Plan Sparks Debate Over Babies Surviving Abortions

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 7
, 2009

Madison, WI ( — Wisconsin pro-life advocates are continuing their condemnation of a plan by physicians at the University of Wisconsin who are considering doing abortions. A group of UW Health physicians are considering doing abortions at the Madison Surgery Center.

The plan has UW Hospitals and Clinics, the UW Medical Foundation and Meriter Hospital opening up a second-trimester abortion facility.

Barbara Lyons, the director of Wisconsin Right to Life, told Wednesday she condemned the idea.

She says the decision re-ignites the debate over babies surviving failed abortions — a phenomenon that occurs more frequently in later-term abortions.

“The decision brings these medical facilities full circle back to the early 1980s when six babies within a short time span survived abortion attempts within their corridors," she said.

In 1982-83, two babies survived abortion attempts at UW Hospitals and Clinics and four babies survived abortion attempts at Madison General Hospital (now known as Meriter Hospital), Lyons told

All of the babies died within 27 hours of birth and the abortions were done up to 26 weeks into the pregnancy.

“Intense public outcry rose from these live births which were the subject of numerous media articles and prompted legislation which prohibited the performance of abortions at public hospitals. The measure passed in the Assembly but not in the Senate,” Lyons said.

“Wisconsin Right to Life will join other organizations to work to overturn this horrendous decision which is a blight on what should be the life-saving, not life-taking, work of medical professionals and facilities," she said.

Lyons explained that abortion practitioner Dennis Christensen ran abortion center at Meriter Hospital and he was eventually now allowed to renew his lease. When that happened, a free-standing abortion clinic was built in the Madison area.

She said Christensen is retiring and his replacement abortion practitioner is reportedly not wanting to do second-trimester abortions.

"Apparently, UW Hospitals and Clinics and Meriter have ‘caved’ and will now allow second trimester abortions to be performed under their auspices," Lyons said. "The Madison Surgery Center has been designated as the place where these later abortions can be performed."

Lyons said Wisconsin Right to Life will work with other pro-life groups to prevent that from happening.

ACTION: Contract the Madison Surgery Center at or [email protected] and urge strong opposition to the new plan to do abortions.

Also contact Donna Katen-Bahensky, President and CEO, UW Hospital and Clinics at (608) 263-6400, Jeffrey Grossman, MD, President and CEO, UW Medical Foundation at (608) 263-7013, and Jim Woodward, President and CEO, Meriter Hospital at (608) 417-6000.

Related web sites:
Wisconsin Right to Life –

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