University of Wisconsin to Find Another Location for Late-Term Abortion Center

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 5, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

University of Wisconsin to Find Another Location for Late-Term Abortion Center

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 5
, 2010

Madison, WI ( — The University of Wisconsin may have abandoned plans to install a late-term abortion facility at the at the Madison Surgery Center, but that doesn’t mean the college has abandoned plans for a late-term abortion center entirely.

Yesterday, pro-life groups celebrated the news that UW had apparently decided against having an abortion center at MSC, a joint venture between UW Hospital and Clinics, Meriter Hospital and the UW Medical Foundation.

But, later in the day, UW officials denied it has dropped its controversial plans for a late-term abortion facility, even though MSC may not house the ultimate location.

Barbara Lyons, Executive Director of Wisconsin Right to Life, tells she is not surprised UW is continuing with its plans to create a late-term abortion center.

“Despite the flurry of statements and denials regarding abandonment of the late-term abortion plan at the Madison Surgery Center, there are no surprises here,” she said today. “It is no surprise that UW is committed to finding another location for late-term abortions. To them, it is the politically correct thing to do.”

“It is also no surprise that the Madison Surgery Center has been abandoned as the location for late-term abortions to be performed,” continued Lyons. “The fact that the Madison Surgery Center has not performed a single late-term abortion, even though the plan was adopted in February of 2009, suggests that insurmountable obstacles prevented the plan from going forward at that facility."

Matt Bowman of Alliance Defense Fund also commented ont he UW response.

"The UW Hospital statement does not deny the letter that ADF released: that they abandoned plans to do late term abortions at the Madison Surgery Center. The state attorney general’s office says they stand by that letter," he told

"UW officials are wise to abandon the Madison Surgery Center abortion plan, since the late-term abortions have always threatened women’s health, pro-life employee conscience rights, and laws against state agency funding of abortion. The UW formulated this plan in secret, and their latest statement admits that they are making the new location of the abortions secret again," he added.

"No matter where else they do the abortions, it will threaten women’s lives and the law. The people of Wisconsin will not tolerate UW entities pursuing abortion plans in secret again," Bowman said.

Email exchanges and documents from the Madison Surgery Center describe deep division and dissension within that facility over the late-term abortion plan.

Officials ask for counts on how many appointments and surgeries have been canceled and discuss ardent opposition to the plan by key medical professionals who utilize the Center.

“Thanks to the thousands of Wisconsin citizens who vehemently oppose this plan, it has been derailed at the first location,” said Lyons.

“Wisconsin Right to Life, those citizens, and the groups who kept up a constant stream of opposition are now alert and looking for the next move by UW officials. The abandonment of the Madison Surgery Center is one gigantic step forward but not the final one, and we will be there every step of the way," the pro-life advocate added.

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.

Yesterday, ADF indicated it had received a letter from the Wisconsin Department of Justice stating that the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics has abandoned its plans.

Assistant Attorney General Kevin Potter, in a letter to an Eau Claire attorney, stated, “We have also been in contact with legal counsel for the University of Wisconsin (UW) to determine how the proposed services would be provided."

"We have been awaiting response from the UW on the final plans before replying to your letter. It is my understanding based on recent information from the UW that they have now abandoned plans to provide late-term abortion services at MSC," the letter went on to say.

But University of Wisconsin Health issued a statement late in the day saying that’s not the case.

"UW Health remains strongly committed to a comprehensive women’s reproduction health service that includes this important procedure," the statement said, according to AP.

The pro-life groups had been concerned that it posed a threat to the religious conscience rights of pro-life employees by potentially requiring them to participate in abortions. They also worried the new abortion center may constitute an unlawful state funding of abortion.

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