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Thursday, March 15, 2012

 8:39 PM 

Dems slam abortion bill

We're already more than an hour into debate on SB 306, which would make a number of changes to abortion laws.

The measure would require a physician to be physically present and perform an exam on patients before giving them an abortion-inducing drug.

It would also require a physician, rather than a physician's assistant, to confirm that the woman's request for an abortion is voluntary.

Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, kicked off debate by offering a substitute amendment that he said would subject men to similarly "intrusive" regulations of their reproductive health care. His floor speech included, among other things, listing the potential side effects of Viagra.

"This bill does not respect over half the population of the state, so let's go ahead and disrespect everyone equally," Pocan said.

Rep. Janet Bewley, D-Ashland, added that the bill assumes that Wisconsin women are incapable of making their own decisions about health care, while Rep. Kelda Roys, D-Madison, said the measure interferes with women's relationship with their doctors.

"It's about an inappopriate use of power," Bewley said of the proposal.

Dems spent a good deal of time touting an amendment to target infant mortality in the state. Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, questioned how anyone voting against that amendment could truly consider themselves "pro-life."

In the midst of that debate, a slew of Dems rose to recognize constituents in the gallery. The galleries are mostly full on two sides of the chamber, with most guests apparently awaiting a proposal that would alter the composition of the Milwaukee Area Technical College Board.


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