Late-Term Abortion Plans at University of Wisconsin Stopped

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 6, 2011   |   12:48PM   |   Madison, WI

Over the weekend, the Joint Finance Committee in the Wisconsin legislature approved a provision that would limit the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority Board on late-term abortions.

The measure specifically prohibits the UW board from paying physicians or surgeons or a hospital, clinic or other medical facility for the performance of an abortion except as specified in Wisconsin’s current abortion-funding law. State law (Wis. Stat. 20.927) prohibits the funds of the state or of a state agency from being spent on the performance of an abortion.

Senator Glenn Grothman and Representative Dan LeMahieu offered the budget motion that the panel approved 12-4. All Republican members of the committee voted for the motion with all Democrat members voting against the measure and Representative Andre Jacque played a key leadership role in the development of the motion.

Two statewide pro-life groups praised legislators for approving the measure.

“Wisconsin Right to Life is deeply appreciative to the Joint Finance Committee for insuring that no UW funds will be used for the performance of abortions in any UW facility,” said Susan Armacost, Legislative Director of Wisconsin Right to Life.

“We remember only too well the brazen attempts of UW a couple of years ago to set up a late-term abortion facility at the Madison Surgery Center,” she said. It was only because of a huge outcry by the public and many employees of the Madison Surgery Center that UW finally backed down and nixed the deadly project.  The motion passed last night means that the UW Hospitals and Clinics Authority Board will no longer be able to plot behind the scenes to find ways to use taxpayer dollars to pay doctors and facilities to perform abortions.”

Pro-Life Wisconsin legislative Director Matt Sande also emailed in support of the measure.

“In 2010, an open records request by Pro-Life Wisconsin and the Alliance Defense Fund revealed that since 2007, more than $58,000 of UWHCA funds have been used to train future abortionists at the Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin abortion facility in Madison,” he said. “The UWHCA pays medical residents in the UW School of Medicine OB/Gyn Department for two four-week rotations at Planned Parenthood, where they view and perform abortions.”

“We commend the Republican members of the Joint Finance Committee for prohibiting public funding of this grisly practice which stains the reputation of Wisconsin’s flagship hospital. The Committee’s action will also present a significant practical obstacle for the UWHCA to perform late-term abortions at the Madison Surgery Center or other location, if they choose to resume such plans,” Sande added.