Legislation includes exception for the life-of-the-mother in medical emergencies.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, the Senate and Assembly Health Committees will hold a joint public hearingin the State Capitol on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, legislation that would prohibit direct abortion at or beyond 20 weeks based on the preborn child’s capacity to feel pain at that gestational age. Senate Bill (SB) 179 andAssembly Bill (AB) 237 were formally introduced by Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) and Jesse Kremer (R- Kewaskum), respectively.
Pro-Life Wisconsin supports legislation shielding preborn children from the excruciating pain of late-term dilation and evacuation dismemberment abortions. But we cannot support SB 179/AB 237 in its current form because it includes an exception for a “medical emergency,” as defined in section 253.10 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Because the term medical emergency is defined to allowdirect abortion, the medical emergency language in the bill constitutes an unacceptable life-of-the-mother exception. Pro-Life Wisconsin Legislative Director, Matt Sande, will offer testimony at tomorrow’s public hearing, urging health committee members to amend the bill to exclude the medical emergency exception.
Pro-life legislation must never explicitly authorize the intentional destruction of certain categories of human beings based, for example, on the circumstances of their conception or the health status of their mothers. Although SB 179/AB 237 does not contain exceptions for rape or incest, the life-of-the-mother exception in the bill is a patent denial of equal protection under the law. We must never codify the importance of one innocent human life over and above another.Physicians must provide equal care for mother and child, and must never be given license to intentionally kill either one of them.
Not only is the medical emergency exception immoral, it is ineffective. It undermines the legal premise of the bill by removing the focus on the baby’s pain and shifting it to the mother’s health. Certainly the courts will see right through this and recognize the legislation as an attempt to ban late term abortion, rather than shielding the baby from pain. After all, the child whose mother’s life is endangered feels pain too. The argument is lost before it is made.
To be sure, there are no situations where abortion, defined as the direct and intentional killing of an unborn child, is medically necessary to save the life of the mother. Over 900 pro-life doctors and medical researchers have signed the Dublin Declaration, a document stating that abortion is never medically necessary to save a mother’s life.
Pro-Life Wisconsin would support an amendment to SB 179/AB 237 that simply removes all reference to “medical emergency” throughout the legislation and retains the prohibition on direct abortion after twenty weeks gestation.
Please CALL or EMAIL your state senator and state representative NOW and urge him/her toREMOVE THE MEDICAL EMERGENCY EXCEPTION in SB 179 and AB 237.
Tell him/her that “late-term dismemberment abortions must not be permitted for any baby in any situation”, and that “the medical emergency exception is a gross denial of equal protection under the law.”
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