Huffington Post, March 14, 2012 by Leigh Owens
The Wisconsin State Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill that will limit abortion coverage, as well as a measure imposing abstinence-only sex education in schools.
The abortion bill, passed by a vote of 61-34 in the Republican dominated assembly, bans abortion coverage under a private health insurance exchange set up under the Affordable Care Act. The sex education bill passed by a vote of 60-34.
Democrats criticized the measures as the latest saga in the Republican war against women. Rep. Donna Seidel (D-Wausau) blasted Republicans for not focusing on more pressing matters such as job creation and building the economy. Other bills such as a mining bill, which would create hundreds of jobs and help the state’s economy, have yet to be passed, Democrats pointed out, yet the assembly debated until the early morning hours on abortion and sex education.
“They feel let down,” Seidel told the Green Bay Press Gazette. “And what are we doing in these last hours to get that important work done? We are arguing about advancing an extreme social agenda that is nothing about that.”
Under this mandate, a woman paying for her own private insurance would be unable to obtain an abortion under their coverage plan, according to RH Reality Check.
Wisconsin’s sex education bill has received sharp criticism from Democrats who say that the law would increase pregnancy amongst teens as well as their risk for contracting sexually transmitted diseases. Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac), the bill’s sponsor, told the Green Bay Press Gazette, “The measure gives schools more freedom over their sex education instruction.”
“This is about local control,” he said.
Under the bill, sexual education courses also would have to discuss parental responsibility and the socioeconomic benefits of marriage, as well as explain pregnancy, prenatal development and childbirth.
Both the abortion and sex education bills now go to Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) desk. He is expected to sign both bills.