The Wisconsin state Senate has fast-tracked a pro-life bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks and will move the legislation to consideration on the state Senate floor next week. In Wisconsin, 89 babies lost their lives to abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in 2013 alone.
After a brief argument about the bill’s provision for medical emergencies, the Wisconsin state Senate’s health committee passed a fast-tracked 20-week abortion ban on a party-line vote on Thursday.
Both the Senate and Assembly are scheduled to be on the floor next week. A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said the Senate expects to take up the bill on Tuesday, but the calendar hasn’t been finalized. The bill isn’t included on the Assembly calendar.
The bill, which Gov. Scott Walker has said he would sign, would ban abortions at the point when some believe a fetus is capable of experiencing pain, which the bill says occurs 20 weeks after fertilization. Under the bill, doctors who perform or attempt to perform such an abortion would be charged with a felony and subject to three-and-a-half years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood began airing a deceptive radio and digital campaign yesterday urging elected officials in Madison to oppose the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (SB 179/AB 237).
“There is substantial medical evidence indicating an unborn baby at 20 weeks post-fertilization is capable of feeling pain,” shared Heather Weininger, Executive Director of Wisconsin Right to Life. “Planned Parenthood , who profits from the dismemberment of these children in the womb, knows that it’s in their best interest to fight a law they know will not only stand up in court, but also cut into their bottom line.”
“Planned Parenthood states on their website that on average, the cost of an abortion is approximately $1,500 nationwide, and that’s just for an early abortion. Later abortions cost even more. It makes one wonder what their real motive is – concern for the well-being of a mother, or for the money they will lose when they can’t profit from tearing a baby apart limb from limb,” continued Weininger.
Wisconsin Right to Life is countering back with a radio and digital campaign sharing the truth that unborn babies feel pain at 20 weeks post-fertilization age, especially from abortion.
“We look forward to the legislature quickly passing this lifesaving legislation,” continued Weininger. “We anticipate this bill will be taken to the Governor’s desk soon, and signed into law, protecting these vulnerable children from the pain of abortion.”
According to WRTL, there is substantial medical evidence indicating unborn babies at 20 weeks post-fertilization age are capable of feeling pain and the group says the state has a compelling interest in protecting unborn children when they are capable of feeling pain. When there is substantial medical evidence in support of the state’s position, then a state can act on protecting unborn babies.
The bill requires abortion practitioners to determine the age of the unborn baby at the time of the abortion and prohibits any abortion on a baby aged 20 weeks or older.
Under the bill, parents who receive a fatal prenatal diagnoses will receive information about perinatal hospice so they can be provided adequate grief counseling and the support of the medical community.
“I believe we have a duty and a moral obligation to protect these children from the horrific procedures used to snuff out their lives. The barbaric and painful mutilation of little children is something that no humane and compassionate society should tolerate,” Rep. Jesse Kremer, R-Kewaskum, said in a statement about his bill.
He added: “Simply put, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act will preserve and protect Wisconsin’s innocent, unborn babies who can feel pain. The call to preserve precious, human life transcends party lines. Thus, I hope to see bi-partisan support for this vital measure to protect Wisconsin’s unborn from needless pain and suffering.”
Earlier this year, Walker said he would back the bill and sign it into law.
“As the Wisconsin legislature moves forward in the coming session, further protections for mother and child are likely to come to my desk in the form of a bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. I will sign that bill when it gets to my desk and support similar legislation on the federal level. I was raised to believe in the sanctity of life and I will always fight to protect it.”
The position is not a new one as Walker co-sponsored legislation in 1998 while he was a member of the Wisconsin state legislature to ban abortions after 20 weeks.
Life is a value I learned from my parents, and it’s a value I have cherished every day, predating my time in politics. My policies throughout my career have earned a 100% rating with pro-life groups in Wisconsin. Just in my first term I signed numerous pieces of pro-life legislation and I will continue working for every life.
In my past four years as governor, we have made substantial progress in the fight for our pro-life values in Wisconsin. We defunded Planned Parenthood. We prohibited abortion from being covered by health plans in a health exchange. We passed legislation assuring the women and their unborn child are better protected under law – through placing stringent requirements on medical professionals and requiring the provision of thorough and vital information to the mother.
I was raised to believe in the sanctity of life and I will always fight to protect it.
Pro-life groups were delighted by Walker’s letter.
“Wisconsin Right to Life is very happy to hear that Governor Walker intends to sign a bill that would protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain,” stated Heather Weininger, Executive Director of Wisconsin Right to Life. “In light of this excellent news, we urge the Wisconsin State Legislature to pass a bill to protect pain-capable unborn children as soon as possible.”