Amid reports the Madison Surgery Center will no longer pursue performing late-term abortions, University of Wisconsin Health released a statement Wednesday refuting the claims.
Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Kevin Potter wrote in a letter dated April 30, 2010 to attorney Karen Mueller that he believed MSC was no longer planning on performing the procedure. Multiple abortion-rights organizations sent out press releases Wednesday morning with the information.
In February 2009, several parent boards, including the UW Hospital and Clinics Authority Board, voted to open an abortion clinic at the MSC capable of providing second trimester abortions.
The vote stirred up much controversy, especially because UW Chancellor Biddy Martin was among the 11 board members who voted in favor of the proposal.
Now, more than one year later, anti-abortion advocates, such as Pro-Life Wisconsin, believed they had won a major battle in the fight against abortion.
Prior to learning the information was false, Pro-Life Wisconsin spokesperson Virginia Zignego said she felt the change proved the effectiveness of grassroots activism supporting pro-life.
Prayer vigils, commercials, a petition, a website and a boycott of MSC were among the efforts made by Pro-Life Wisconsin to halt the procedure’s performance at the Madison Surgery Center.
“This is proof that pro-life grassroots activism works,” she said.
Zignego later said she was not aware the information was false.
“We would hope UW Health did not give a false statement … because when you read the attorney general’s letter, he said it was not going to be provided,” Zignego said. “I do not understand what the breakdown in communication is.”
Despite the confusion, Zignego said Pro-Life Wisconsin remains opposed to fetal termination of any kind, whether it’s late-term abortion or UW training doctors to perform abortions at Planned Parenthood.
The statement released by UW Health said the allegations that second trimester abortions would not be performed are false and they are “strongly committed to a comprehensive women’s reproductive health service that includes this important procedure.”
NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin Executive Director Lisa Subeck said she did not know why there were conflicting statements, but she is pleased the community is committed to providing the service to women.
Potter did not return calls as of press time.