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Thursday, June 13, 2013

 7:25 PM 

Reps. Pope, Ballweg get personal on the bill

Rep. Sondy Pope, D-Madison, broke up consistently in a speech against the ultrasound bill, saying that she felt the body was overstepping its bounds in a "cruel" fashion.

Pope compared the debate to a previous debate on a bill to allow certain parties to override a Do-Not-Resuscitate order if they felt the life of the patient could be saved. Pope, whose husband decided on a DNR order after his cancer had progressed and he was admitted to hospice care, said the debate was "crushing to me to sit in a chair and listen to my colleagues tell me that their moral choice was more important than the decisions he and I made."

She then said they were doing it again, noting that she had five pregnancies and only one child. She recounted being told by a doctor during her second pregnancy that her child would not live through birth and that she could either have an abortion or "let nature take its course."

"I'm appalled that you believe your morals, whatever your church dictates to you, has got to play out in my life," Pope said. "That's disgusting."

Rep. Joan Ballweg, R-Markesan, noted that she has faced similar situations. Last session she gave an in-depth explanation of her views, talking about her decisions to carry the high-risk pregnancies of her children to term. She pleaded with Dems to understand their decisions are not politically motivated. She urged legislators to remember a common thread -- that most of the body has children and understands the preciousness of their lives.

"What we're talking about here is to take a look and ask folks to realize that this is a life," Ballweg said,  "This isn't a skin tag that we want to get rid of, this is life. This can be a very difficult situation, but this is something that with help and support can have a very positive outcome."


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