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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

 5:14 PM 

Senate debates 20-week abortion ban

Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling kicked off the abortion bill debate by accusing Republicans of bringing up the legislation to distract from negative headlines on the budget and state’s economy.

She also charged they were trying to interfere in the personal health decisions of women that should only be up to them and their doctors, not politicians.
“We should not force dangerous political ideologies on countless families across our state who face agonizing personal health care decisions,” Shilling said. “We should not prevent doctors from delivering the best possible health care, and we should not jeopardize the lives of women in our state.”

Sen. Mary Lazich, R-New Berlin, cited several studies suggesting fetuses at 20 weeks or earlier can feel pain. Due to this, she said, the state has a "rational, thoughtful and compelling" interest in regulating abortions after 20 weeks. Lazich said the bill is not about preventing abortions in the case of rape or incest, saying those abortions occur early on in the pregnancy. 

"This is about stopping late-term, elective abortions," Lazich said, comparing the bill to a ban on post-viability abortions and partial-birth abortions. 

She also read testimony from a doctor who handles troubled pregnancy who said that while he has had to terminate pregnancies early, in no case has he every had to deliberately kill a fetus in order to save the life of a mother. Lazich cited cases in which doctors had diagnosed unborn children with serious disorders who turned out to be healthy. She noted that even when children are born with deadly disorders, the hospice process gives families time to cope with the loss rather than the "cold" procedure of abortion. 

"We have a responsibility in this civilized society to protect children from pain," Lazich said.


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