NARAL Pro-Choice, May 22, 2012
Law signed by Governor Scott Walker limits options for women facing unintended or untenable pregnancies.
Madison, WI – Last month, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin announced it would suspend providing medication abortion in response to Act 217, a law adding vague, unnecessary, and intrusive restrictions for abortion providers and subjecting physicians to felony criminal penalties. The law was one of three War on Women bills signed in secret by Governor Scott Walker on the evening before a holiday weekend.
Now, Affiliated Medical Services (AMS) has announced via its website that its physicians will also no longer provide medication abortion. AMS is Wisconsin’s only independent abortion provider. The suspension of this service by AMS, on the heels of last month’s announcement by Planned Parenthood, leaves Wisconsin women seeking abortion services early in their pregnancies with one less health care option.
“Elections matter. As long as Scott Walker occupies the Governor’s office, women will continue to lose ground on health care options,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin Executive Director Lisa Subeck. “The environment created by Walker and anti-choice Republicans in the State Legislature is so hostile that abortion providers are no longer able to provide care to women.”
Anti-choice and anti-women bills passed by the Republican controlled Legislature and signed into law by Governor Walker during the most recent legislative session include: Act 32 (Biennial Budget): Defunding Planned Parenthood and dismantling the state’s family planning program; Limiting young women’s access to the Medicaid Family Planning program; and an attempted repeal of Wisconsin’s Contraceptive Equity law, which would have allowed insurers covering other prescription drugs to deny coverage for prescription birth control. Act 216: Repeal of the Healthy Youth Act, bringing failed abstinence-only until marriage programs back into Wisconsin’s classrooms and leaving youth without the information they need to protect themselves from unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Act 217: Onerous and unnecessary new restrictions for abortion providers in direct contradiction to medical best practices and subjecting doctors who provide abortion care to felony criminal penalties. Act 218: Bans insurance coverage for abortion services in Wisconsin’s exchange created under the Affordable Care Act, even when women are paying for the coverage entirely with their own money. Act 219: Repeal of the Equal Pay Act, removing protections for women who are discriminated against in the workplace.
“Wisconsin women will suffer because of Governor Walker’s actions. It is unacceptable that women are losing health care options because Walker has put his extreme social agenda ahead of what is best for women’s health,” said Subeck. “Women lose out when out of control politicians like Scott Walker practice medicine without a license and interfere in the relationship between doctors and their patients.”
Subeck continued, “Wisconsin women are worse off with Governor Walker than with any other Governor in recent history. The June 5th recall election provides an unprecedented opportunity to put a decisive end to Walker’s War on Wisconsin Women.”