Both houses of the Wisconsin legislature are considering a bill that would increase the restrictions placed on abortion in the state.
Known as the “Coercive and Webcam Abortion Prevention Action Act,” the bill would ban abortion proscriptions by webcam and mandate that abortion providers determine that a patient’s decision to have an abortion was not coerced.
“No woman should ever be forced into a medical procedure without her consent no matter what that procedure might be,” said State Representative Michelle Litjens, sponsor of the bill at the Assembly level, in an interview with The Christian Post.
“And, if we are really looking out for health care of women then anyone having any sort of major medical procedure done should have it done under the direct care of a physician.”
Pro-choice groups in the state have expressed their concern over the newly proposed legislation.
In a statement released to the Daily Cardinal, a local publication, Young Progressives Issues Director Fiona Cahill said that it was part of “a wider agenda of denying women access to reproductive care.”
Cahill also told the Cardinal that if proponents of the bill were “truly interested in protecting pregnant women, they should have joined the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health in October in refunding women’s health services to their pre-Governor Walker levels.”
“I don't believe any access issues are being addressed in this bill at all. I can't believe anyone would support a woman being forced to receive an abortion against her will,” said Litjens.
“Recently I heard a 911 call on a Milwaukee talk radio show where a 12- or 13-year-old girl was asking the ‘sidewalk counselors’ to help her because she didn't want the abortion and the police were unable to do anything about it. That is wrong and should be unacceptable to anyone whether you are pro-choice or pro-life.”
Sue Armacost, legislative director for Wisconsin Right to Life, told The Christian Post that the bill’s provision of ending webcam proscriptions would benefit pregnant women.
“The woman would never have any personal contact with the abortionist who is prescribing RU 486 to end her pregnancy,” said Armacost.
“That means the doctor prescribing RU 486 would not even give her a physical exam.”
Armacost also talked of the dangers that come with RU 486, the artificial steroid used in many abortion procedures.
“Through April of 2011, the FDA reports 2,207 adverse events related to use of RU 486. These events include 14 deaths, 612 hospitalizations, 58 ectopic pregnancies, 339 blood transfusions, and 256 cases of infection,” said Armacost.
She also found it “laughable” for pro-choice groups to claim the legislation would harm women “women when they, themselves, are willing to risk the lives of women by promoting webcam RU 486 abortions with all of its devastating risks and are content to turn a blind eye to those women who are being coerced into having abortions.”
In addition to State Representative Michelle Litjens introducing the bill in the Assembly, State Senator Mary Lazich introduced the bill in the State Senate.