Wisconsin Attorney General: University Abortion Training May be Illegal
by Steven Ertelt
June 4, 2010
Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Kevin Potter says the University of Wisconsin may be violating state law by paying resident physicians while they are being trained to do abortions at Planned Parenthood in Madison. The opinion came in the form of a May 25 letter to State Auditor Janice Mueller.
On April 16, the Alliance Defense Fund, on behalf of Pro-Life Wisconsin, filed a request with the Attorney Generals office for an opinion on the matter.
Wisconsin law prohibits state agencies from paying physicians or medical facilities doing abortions.
Yet, the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics Authority pays medical residents specializing in gynecology to train at Planned Parenthood, where they can opt to learn how to do abortions.
Statute 20.927(1m) of Wisconsin law states, No funds of this state or of any agency of this state shall be authorized for or paid to a physician or surgeon or a hospital, clinic or other medical facility for the performance of an abortion.
Another statute defines a state agency as including UWHCA. Despite the laws, University of Wisconsin, since 2007, has spent over $58,878 to medical residents for abortion training.
In the letter, Pro-Life Wisconsin provided to LifeNews.com, Potter said the UWHCA appears to qualify as a state agency under the law and, therefore, can’t use the money for abortion training. But he was careful to say the state Justice Department hasn’t reached that official conclusion and that a violation of the law is not a criminal offense by UW officials, if indeed they have violated it.
The letter suggests state auditors clarify the intent of the law for UW officials and obtain UW records to determine if the university has been compliant
UWHCA spokeswoman Lisa Brunette issued a response the Chicago Tribune covered accentuating the points Potter made about it not violating any law.
"UW Hospital is happy to provide any relevant documents to anyone who has a legal right to them," the statement said.
Alliance Defense Fund attorney Matthew Bowman, told the newspaper the auditors should investigate.
"The UW Hospital," he said, "is breaking the law in order to promote an ideological agenda in favor of abortion."
Peggy Hamill, state director of Pro-Life Wisconsin, agreed.
We are encouraged the Attorney General sees this as a legitimate inquiry and shares our concern that a violation of state law could be occurring, she told LifeNews.com. We look forward to a financial and program audit of the UWHCA.
Our University of Wisconsin state agencies should not be a training ground for abortionists, said Virginia Zignego, communications director of Pro-Life Wisconsin and a UW-Madison graduate. UWHCA is likely breaking the law by paying medical residents to perform abortions. Residents need to be instructed how to save, preserve and respect life, not how to kill preborn children.
Medical residents in the UW School of Medicine Ob/Gyn Department have two four-week rotations at Planned Parenthood, where they view and participate in abortions.
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