A bill currently circulating in the Wisconsin State Legislature would prohibit University of Wisconsin employees from performing abortions under the scope of employment. Proponents of the bill argue it closes a loophole whereby state money ends up funding abortions.

This argument is ludicrous. Republicans that worry UW employees are performing abortions on the state’s dime seem to have completely overlooked the fact that the physicians’ time is being paid for.

The university has an agreement with Planned Parenthood wherein “Planned Parenthood purchases the physicians’ time at a rate of $150 per hour.” The idea that taxpayers are funding abortions by state employees is fundamentally incorrect.

This bill is not about state-funded abortions. It is about the GOP’s continued resolve to fight the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade. Republicans have never agreed with the right of women to receive abortions, and will use any loophole they can find to make abortions as hard as possible to get.

GOP bill would restrict OB-GYN abortion trainingWisconsin Republicans introduced a bill Tuesday which could potentially prohibit funding or performance of abortions by an employee of the University of Read…

Just look at the rhetoric of Rep. Andre Jacque, R-DePere, a sponsor of the bill: “Would we continually allow and pay state employees to run a strip joint on state time, or harvest organs from political prisoners for the Chinese government as long as someone else eventually reimburses the state for their salary?”

Comparing abortion training required for OBGYN residents to “running a strip joint” or harvesting organs is so blatantly inflammatory that I had reservations about including the quote. Unfortunately, this is the mindset with which many Republicans view abortion.

The repercussions of this bill would go further than just politics. The bill would effectively end the UW ob-gyn residency program. The arrangement currently in place with Planned Parenthood “allows UW to meet its accreditation requirements under the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, by allowing ob-gyn residents to participate in a family planning rotation.”

Proposed legislation would ban UW employees from training at abortion facilitiesWisconsin Republicans lawmakers have proposed legislation that could restrict University of Wisconsin faculty from working with institutions like Planned Parenthood. The Read…

Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requirements for OBGYN residency programs include the provision of “access or training in the provision of abortions”.

UW School of Medicine and Public Health Dean Robert Golden says he has already been notified that if the bill passes, UW would be cited for non-compliance, and eventually will lose its accreditation.

Golden worries that the state may ultimately lose “pipeline of well trained ob-gyns just when our state needs them the most.”

So, to recap — this bill operates under the false premise that state funds are funding abortions by UW employees. It will eventually ruin the residency program here, and rob the state as a whole of well-trained doctors.

Can someone explain to me why this bill should pass?

Eric Hilkert ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in finance.