The war on women’s rights continues in the great state of Wisconsin, with the Senate’s health committee approving a bill that would prohibit University of Wisconsin doctors from performing abortions and training residents on how to perform abortions. Because the partisan bill, passed by the Republican majority on the committee, prevents UW ob-gyn students from learning an important medical procedure that is part of a typical curriculum in their area of study, university officials claim the changes will likely cause the ob-gyn program at UW to lose its accreditation, as these programs must provide students with training or access to training in the provision of abortions.
The bill would also end a standing agreement between UW and Planned Parenthood that allowed medical residents to receive training in performing abortions at Madison-area Planned Parenthood facilities.
Proponents of the bill, largely the conservative majority in the Wisconsin legislature, claim that the bill is a way to protect Wisconsin taxpayers who are morally opposed to abortion, from “subsidizing the devastating industry to kill babies at Planned Parenthood.” Proponents further claim the bill will help prevent state and federal funds from being used to perform abortions.
Preventing an ob-gyn student from learning a medical procedure that is a required part of their degree, whether at UW or in an offsite location such as Planned Parenthood, has absolutely no rational justification. It is no different than telling a student of dentistry that they cannot learn how to pull a tooth or law student that they cannot learn how to write a legal brief.
Legislation limiting abortion training on campus latest in GOP attack on healthA bill currently circulating in the Wisconsin State Legislature would prohibit University of Wisconsin employees from performing abortions under the Read…
Any rationalization of the decision to prohibit training for abortions centers around personal grievances with abortions, stemming from a party that is predominantly white men who will never have to receive an abortion. The authors of this bill, Sen. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield and Rep. André Jacque, R-De Pere are both male.
One can see the tip of the rhetorical iceberg in the statement Kapenga and Jacque made to the press that the bill will prevent taxpayers from “subsidizing the devastating industry to kill babies.”
The vast majority of abortions are performed between about week six and week 16 of a pregnancy, or up until about halfway through the second trimester. At this point in a pregnancy, the fetus is about 2.5 cm long, resembling something between a seed and a tadpole, but most certainly not resembling what the average person would consider a baby. While states differ as to how far into a pregnancy abortion is allowed, the cutoff for abortions due to non-medical reason falls between 22 and 24 weeks, or approaching the end of the second trimester. However, abortions this late in the pregnancy account for only 1.3 percent of all abortions in the United States.
The driving force behind this Wisconsin bill, the conservative idea that conception instantaneously results in a live baby writhing around in a woman’s stomach for nine months, therefore making abortion equatable to the murder of a baby, has no business driving policy decisions. An abortion is an incredibly personal choice that should not be dictated by the beliefs of Scott Walker or his Republican cronies in the capital building who believe women’s rights to their bodies are secondary to the rights of an unborn fetus.
Senate health committee approves bill prohibiting UW abortionsThe Wisconsin state Senate’s health committee approved a bill Thursday that would prohibit University of Wisconsin doctors from performing abortions Read…
A person’s education is also an incredibly personal choice and one that affects the individual for the rest of their life. The inability to receive proper medical training for a procedure that is a required part of an ob-gyn degree will prevent UW students from pursuing their chosen career or will force them to choose a different medical school where they can finish their degree without conservative ideology chopping out an essential part of the curriculum.
Not only is this detrimental to students pursuing an ob-gyn degree and career, but it is detrimental to the University’s Medical School that stands to lose its accreditation because the personal values of Wisconsin politicians somehow trump standard medical school training.
The right to choose is not too much for women to ask, especially the right to choose what they will and will not do to their own bodies. The right to choose is not too much for students to ask when making decisions about their education and career. This bill, if passed by the Senate, will strip both of these rights away.
Aly Niehans ([email protected]) is a sophomore majoring in international studies and intending to major in journalism.