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Assembly Republicans slam bills loosening abortion restrictions

MADISON (WKOW) — Assembly Republicans are taking a stance as some states push proposals to lift abortion restrictions.

A law enacted in New York allows women the option of abortion any time during their pregnancy with a doctor’s consent if their health is threatened or the fetus is not viable. Previously, women in New York could only get abortions after 24 weeks if their lives were threatened.

Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) is sending a message to Wisconsin Democrats: do not follow in New York’s footsteps.

“We want to make sure it doesn’t happen in Wisconsin and I have every confidence that it wouldn’t pass,” said Vos during a press conference at the capitol.

The New York law is setting the stage for other state’s like Virginia to propose similar legislation.

Last year, Democrat Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) introduced a proposal to allow women to choose a safe and legal abortion, with the professional judgment of a physician, to protect her life or health. Taylor said she’s currently reviewing her party’s legislative agenda to see if this bill can be reintroduced.

“It’s apparent that Speaker Vos will continue to attack womens’ health and lives, but protecting and enhancing womens’ rights has always been, and will continue to be, a priority for me,” said Rep. Taylor.

Representative Joe Sanfelippo called these proposals “barbaric.”

“The baby is going to feel the pain from that procedure,” said Sanfilippo.

Representative Lisa Subeck said her colleagues don’t understand the facts. She argues these bills are aimed to protect women who may have complications with their pregnancy.

“These are women who face devastating health and life consequences and women who seek abortions late in their pregnancy generally want to be pregnant,” said Subeck.

Subeck said for years Republicans have fought to take reproductive rights away, including decreasing funding for planned parenthood and reducing access to birth control.

Planned Parenthoods Policy Director Mel Barnes said anti-abortion politicians in the state will stop at nothing to push their agenda to ban safe abortions.

“(Republicans) are making outlandish accusations that are not based in fact or medical science,” said Barnes.

Pro-life Wisconsin Legislative Director Matt Sande said they’re appalled at the recent Democratic push to enact late-term abortions. During President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech he addressed states taking steps to roll back abortion restrictions.

“We applaud President Trump and our Republican legislators in Madison for committing to fight any such extreme abortion legislation in Wisconsin,” said Sande.

Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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