Wisconsin Gov Gets Bill to Stop Webcam, Forced Abortions

State   Steven Ertelt   Mar 16, 2012   |   11:49AM    Madison, WI

A pro-life measure that would halt forced and coerced abortions and ban the practice of webcam abortions is now headed to pro-life Gov. Scott Walker now that it has been approved by the full Wisconsin legislature.

Senate Bill 306 is authored by Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) and Rep. Michelle Litjens (R-Oshkosh) and contains two vital components. The first portion of the bill protect a woman who is being coerced into having an abortion.

The second part would protect a woman from being prescribed RU 486 abortion drugs without being seen in person by the prescribing physician — and that has the strong support of Wisconsin Right to Life.

Wisconsin Right to Life applauded passage of the pro-life measure and told LifeNews the Coercive and Web Cam Abortion Prevention Act was debated for two and one-half hours and passed by a margin of 60 to 33.

“The enactment of this measure into law will be a tremendous victory for women and babies,” said Susan Armacost, Legislative Director of Wisconsin Right to Life.

“For far too long, numbers of women have reported that they were coerced into having abortions.  SB 306 ensures that an assessment will be made to determine if a woman’s consent to an abortion is voluntary.  The bill requires that the abortionist speak to the woman in private to determine if she is being coerced.  If she is a potential or actual victim of domestic abuse, the abortionist must give her information on where she can receive help,” Armacost said.

“In addition, women will be further protected by requiring a physical exam and in person administration of chemical abortion-inducing drugs like RU 486.  This requirement would prohibit webcam abortions which are occurring in Iowa and Minnesota from being introduced into local communities in Wisconsin.  The Food and Drug Administration has reported over 2,200 adverse incidents since 2000 from use of abortion-inducing drugs, including the deaths of 14 women.   RU 486 abortions, administered after a woman has been diagnosed as being pregnant, are different from the morning after pill,” Armacost added.

SB 306 repeals penalties to women who obtain abortions.   This repeal removes a conflict in the statues and ensures that once abortions become illegal again in Wisconsin, a woman who obtains an abortion cannot be fined or imprisoned.

“We are deeply appreciative to the State Assembly for their deep concern for the health and welfare of women and babies,” said Armacost.

Matt Sande, legislative director for Pro-Life Wisconsin, also applauded passage of the bill.

“When a woman is facing an unplanned pregnancy, the reckless use of a toxic abortion drug is the last thing she needs,” he said. “The average woman loses four times the amount of blood in a drug-induced medical abortion as compared to a standard surgical abortion. Several deaths have been attributed to mifepristone and therefore its prescription and use ought to be highly restricted, if not banned.”

“Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin has the videoconference infrastructure in place to dispense mifepristone,” said Virginia Zignego, communications director for Pro-Life Wisconsin. “Senate Bill 306 closes the door on the real possibility of RU-486 abortions in our state. We thank Senator Lazich and Representative Litjens for their vision in introducing this preemptive legislation.”

Despite the importance of the legislation to pro-life advocates, Democrats in the state Senate stalled the bill after alleging it was supposedly an attack on women’s health care.

“Everyone knows this bill is about abortion,” said Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville. “It’s catering to those special interest groups who want to overturn Roe V. Wade.”

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin opposed the bill and the abortion business got Democrats to object to the third and final reading of SB 306, after Republicans topped weakening amendments to the legislation.

The webcam abortion practice started with the Planned Parenthood of the Heartland affiliate using it in Iowa, a rural state where the abortion business has a difficult time getting an abortion practitioner to each of its clinics. As a result, it set up a process by which the abortion practitioner only visits with the woman considering using the mifepristone abortion pill via a videoconference, as opposed to an in-person visit the FDA suggests.

With the drug having killed dozens of women worldwide and injured more than 2,200 alone in the United States, according to April 2011 FDA figures, pro-life groups have been concerned about Planned Parenthood putting women’s health at risk.

Last year, Wisconsin Right to Life informed LifeNews that Planned Parenthood has begun using the extremely dangerous RU 486 web-cam abortion technique in Minnesota. According to Planned Parenthood Minnesota spokesperson Connie Lewis, the organization began doing webcam abortions at their Rochester facility — making it the first time the abortion business has expanded doing abortions beyond the twin cities area.

Wisconsin may be next for the webcam abortion process.

“We have known for some time about Planned Parenthood’s deadly plan to bring RU 486 web-cam abortions to cities and towns throughout the nation. First it was Iowa, then Minnesota.  Now it appears Planned Parenthood is set to begin expanding its abortion business here in Wisconsin,” says Susan Armacost, the legislative director of Wisconsin Right to Life.

“Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI) is already the state’s largest abortion provider but it is not content to limit the performance of abortions to its three abortions clinics in the state,” Amacost explained. “Now it appears it wants to offer dangerous RU 486 chemical abortions to women in towns and cities like Portage, Beaver Dam, Delavan and other Wisconsin locations where PPWI has not previously operated abortion clinics.”

“Since only a handful of doctors want to perform abortions, it would be difficult for PPWI to expand its surgical abortion operations.  But by providing RU 486 web-cam abortions, PPWI can expand its lucrative abortion business without even having a doctor physically present,” Armacost goes on to say. “Web-cam abortions were initiated by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and piloted in Iowa where 2,000 of these abortions took place, with the intention of exporting this technique to other states.  A woman enters a Planned Parenthood facility and discusses her abortion by web-cam with an abortionist in another city or perhaps even another state.   After the information exchange, the abortionist presses a button which opens a drawer at the woman’s location.  Her abortion drugs (RU 486 and prostaglandin, a labor-inducing drug) are in the drawer and the abortionist watches her take the medication via web-cam.  The woman is never examined by the physician.”

RU 486  and its companion drug are administered between the fifth and ninth weeks of pregnancy, after pregnancy has been confirmed and the process typically involves three trips to a doctor. About half of the women abort while at the doctor’s office, with another 26 percent having an abortion within the next 20 hours at any location at home or in public. The remainder either have an abortion in the coming weeks or none at all of the drug fails to work — making it so a surgical abortion is required.

Through April, the FDA reports 2,207 adverse events related to the use of RU 486, including 14 deaths, 612 hospitalizations, 58 ectopic pregnancies, 339 blood transfusions, and 256 cases of infections in the United States alone. A European drug manufacturer has publicly stated that 28 women have died worldwide after using RU 486/mifepristone.