An anti-abortion group within the state has proposed stricter regulations on abortions, including mandating women requesting abortions to watch an ultrasound of their fetuses.
Wisconsin Right to Life has expressed its desire to also end abortions based on sex selection and abortions that could cause the fetus pain, according to statements released by the organization.
According to one of the statements, an unborn child is able to feel pain starting at 20 weeks, and WRTL supports a bill that would end abortion beyond this point except when the mother’s life is in danger.
WRTL also supports a bill that would prevent sex selection abortions. The bill would make it a federal offense for a doctor to perform an abortion if he or she is aware the abortion is requested on the basis of the fetus’ gender, according to the statement.
The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act would also hold the mother liable in the case of a sex-selection abortion, the statements said.
Susan Armacost, the legislative director of WRTL, said there is a war on women going on right now, all over the world.
“In a letter to Congress, National Right to Life, our parent organization, provides information on credible estimates that 160 million women and girls are missing from the world due to sex selection,” Armacost said in the statement.
Rep. Kelda Roys, D-Madison, said Wisconsin already heavily restricts access to abortion access for women, and additional restrictions would not reduce the number of women that will request abortions.
Roys said instead, conservative legislators should be working, as she has, to increase accessibility of contraception and sexual education. She said this would reduce the need for abortions and the “extreme, out of step” proposals that are being presented by Wisconsin Right to Life.
Roys said the Legislature can then devote more time to the economy instead of social issues.
“We can finally start to get the Wisconsin economy moving, instead of focusing on anti-choice legislation,” Roys said. “Wisconsin should be working towards ensuring citizens have the jobs necessary to support their families.”
Cullen Werwie, spokesperson for Gov. Scott Walker, said the governor is currently focusing on the next state budget and creating jobs.
Werwie did not confirm whether Walker supports the proposals.
“As you know Governor Walker is pro-life. With that said he hasn’t gotten a chance to meet with Wisconsin Right to Life regarding their agenda or discuss it with legislators,” Werwie said in an email to The Badger Herald.
Rep. Terese Berceau, D-Madison, said the Republican Party has “thrown road block after road block to intimidate women.”
Berceau said she hopes Republicans got the message from the national election that women want to make their own decisions regarding their health care.
She added the Democrats have pushed a lot of jobs bills, but the Republicans in the state Legislature keep pushing bills on social issues.
“[The Republicans] are following their conservative principles, but at the expense of Wisconsinites getting the education and jobs they need,” Berceau said.