Another Pro-Life Victory

This week’s radio commentary…

Over two years ago, tens of thousands of Wisconsin citizens from across the state came together to help protect the lives of innocents against a plan to kill 125 second trimester, late-term babies a year at the Madison Surgery Center.

It was a long process that involved the joint efforts of pro-life organizations and individuals who were dedicated to saving those babies—and maybe their mothers— no matter how much time, money and effort it took. We rallied in freezing temperatures at the UW campus. Open records requests were filed, many of them. Tens of thousands of individual signatures were gathered for petitions. Dozens of individuals took turns praying outside the Madison Surgery center in all weather until the plan started falling apart. Hundreds of Wisconsin residents boycotted the UW health system and even more contacted those behind the late-term abortion plan, urging them to change their minds.

As a result of the dedication and commitment of the pro-life movement in Wisconsin, the late-term abortion plan started slowly unraveling. The abortionist who was going to be performing the abortions at the Madison Surgery Center took a job in another state. Pressure from pro-life health care professionals employed at the Madison Surgery Center weakened the resolve of the Madison Surgery Center board and eventually, we learned they would not be hosting the abortion center.

And then, late last year, the UW Hospital and Clinics Authority (UWHCA) announced they had dropped the plan to provide late-term abortions at the Madison Surgery Center and did not have another facility at the time to replace the Madison Surgery Center. It was wonderful news and a great tribute to the effectiveness and determination of the pro-life movement in our state.

However, despite multiple attempts in the State Legislature to institute such a statute, we do not have any law that curbs the UWHCA system’s ability to reinstate the late-term abortion plan at another facility on another day.

In fact, Pro-Life Wisconsin broke the story last year that UW medical residents were actually doing rotations at Planned Parenthood to view and to learn to perform abortions.  We had no assurance that taxpayer funds were not being used to subsidize those rotations at the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic.

Then, at about 11:00 this past Friday night, June 3, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC)—the powerful committee that vets the state budget before it goes to the floors of the Senate and the Assembly—voted to prohibit the involvement of the UWHCA and its employees in an abortion procedure.

There are a number of heroes behind this pro-life victory, including all of you who participated in the effort over the last couple of years to stop the abortions at the Madison Surgery Center. The pro-life organizations that coalesced to fight the plan were also involved in promoting the motion on Friday.

Rep. André Jacque (R-Bellevue), was the driving force behind the motion that the JFC approved on Friday night. Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) and Rep. Dan LeMahieu (R-Cascade), both ardent pro-life members of the JFC, introduced the motion and the JFC voted on party lines, 12-4, to approve it.

Now the budget goes to the floors of the State Assembly and State Senate this month where legislators in both chambers can introduce amendments in an attempt to alter the budget before the members vote on it. And then, the governor has the final authority to sign or veto the budget, or to veto the budget in part.

However, the public outrage over the plans to do late second-trimester abortions at the Madison Surgery Center should show that Wisconsin taxpayers are not interested in cutting any check for abortionists, abortionists-in-training or for the facilities they use.  Pro-life victories are always hard-won, but they are definitely sweet—and very much life-saving.

This Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

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