Wisconsin Set for Key Recall Election Shaping Abortion Issues

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 8, 2011   |   11:45AM   |   Madison, WI

Wisconsin voters are headed to the polls tomorrow for the first of two recall election dates that a state pro-life group says are important because they will shape the direction of the state legislature on the issue of abortion.

“Who would have thought the summer months would be almost a replay of the 2010 elections?” Wisconsin Right to Life told supporters this morning. “But here we are down to the wire with the first set of recall elections set for tomorrow, August 9 and the second set taking place on August 16.”

“Planned Parenthood and their allies in the pro-abortion movement are using these recall efforts as an opportunity to undo the 2010 elections and bring the State Senate under pro-abortion leadership so that Wisconsin Right to Life’s life-saving legislative agenda will be stopped dead in its tracks. Don’t let them get away with it,” the organization added.

“At stake on tomorrow are the State Senate seats of six Republican incumbents who have supported legislation to protect the unborn and protect taxpayers from being forced to pay for abortions,” WRTL says. “All six of these Republicans are being challenged by candidates who are staunchly pro-abortion and are endorsed by Planned Parenthood, the organization that performs most of the abortions in Wisconsin.”

In the August 16th vote next week, voters will determine the fate of two pro-abortion Democratic incumbents who will face candidates who are strongly pro-life.

The Wisconsin Right to Life Political Action Committee, last month, released the list of candidates it is supporting in recall elections taking place throughout the state on August 9 and August 16. The endorsed incumbents include Senators Robert Cowles, Alberta Darling, Sheila Harsdorf, Luther Olsen, Randy Hopper, and Dan Kapanke — all pro-life Republicans.

“We are proud to support these fine incumbent lawmakers,” said Susan Armacost, the WRTL PAC director, in an email to LifeNews. “Each one of them is being challenged by pro-abortion candidates, all of whom are endorsed by Planned Parenthood, the organization that performs most of the abortions in Wisconsin. It is crucial to the right-to-life cause that Senators Cowles, Darling, Harsdorf, Olsen, Hopper and Kapanke win their races.”

WRTL is also endorsing Republican candidates Kim Simac in the 12th State Senate District and Jonathan Steitz in the 22nd State Senate District.

“Kim Simac and Jonathan Steitz strongly believe that unborn children should be protected and they will work for legislative measures to protect them,” continued Armacost.

“Kim Simac is challenging pro-abortion Jim Holperin. Holperin has a 0% right-to-life voting record in the State Senate.  Jonathan Steitz is challenging pro-abortion Robert Wirch,” she told LifeNews. “Wirch is endorsed by Planned Parenthood, the state’s largest abortion provider.  The election of Kim Simac and Jonathan Steitz would greatly contribute to building a culture of life in Wisconsin.”

The pro-life organization says the recall elections “are really about the rights of the unborn.” The organization is concerned that the elections could result in handing pro-abortion Democrats control of the state Senate.

“No matter what you hear about the nine State Senate recall elections that will take place on August 9 and August 16, it’s really about the rights of the unborn,” WRTL says. “The votes and support of right-to-life people have never been more important.  If we lose our State Senate majority, our life-saving legislative agenda will be stopped dead in its tracks.”

The recall elections follow the successful cutting of funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business. With pro-life Gov. Scott Walker signing the state budget into law in Wisconsin, the Badger State became the fourth to cut funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business — following decisions by Indiana, North Carolina and Kansas to revoked funding entirely.

The legislation redirects $1 million in state and federal family planning funds away from Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. In 2010 Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin received more than $18 million in federal and state family planning funds that it claims has reduced abortions. However, the abortion business did 5,439 abortions in 2009, a 56% increase from 2008.

Wisconsin Right to Life praised Walker, with legislative director Susan Armacost saying, “Governor Walker and the state legislature acted courageously to protect Wisconsin taxpayers from having their tax dollars used to destroy human life. While there is more work to be done to protect taxpayers from paying for abortions, this state budget has greatly improved the situation.  On behalf of Wisconsin Right to Life members and supporters throughout the state, we extend our heartfelt thanks to Governor Walker and the legislature.”

Meanwhile, the state budget contains a provision which puts the University of Wisconsin Health Care Authority (UWHCA) under the provisions of state law, which prohibits the use of state tax dollars for the performance of abortions.   UWHCA tried to persuade legislators that it would lose accreditation if the provision was enacted, but officials with Wisconsin Right to Life say that’s not so.