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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

 3:02 PM 

Abortion consent bill blocked from third reading

The Senate was set to vote on SB 306, which would require a physician to be physically present and perform an exam on patients before giving them an abortion-inducing drug. The bill would also change law to require a physician, rather than a physicians assistant, to confirm that the woman's request for an abortion is voluntary.

Instead, Democrats objected to a third reading, blocking a final vote for today.

Sen. Mary Lazich, R-New Berlin, said all her bill was trying to do was make sure that someone seeking an abortion received the quality of health care necessary for such a procedure.

"The usual practice of a gynecologist is to perform a physical exam on a young woman or girl," Lazich said. A patient would who was prescribed medication without a physical exam would think the physician is a "quack."

Democrats claimed that the bill would make it a felony if physicians do not follow the exact procedure outlined in the bill and said that would hamper the physician's ability to give the best medical advice available.

"I find it hilarious that the argument is based on protecting others," Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, said. "Call a spade a spade, this bill is political ... This chamber is not your church, it's not you're synagogue, it's not any of those things."

Democrats also argued that it was hypocritical of Republicans to demand government stay out of health care when debating AJR 21, but should have a direct hand in health care here.

An amendment to remove the penalties was tabled along party lines. Another amendment that would have maintained current law for victims of rape or incest was also tabled.


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