Wisconsin’s Democratic governor vetoed five pro-life bills Friday, including one that would require medical care for a baby who survives an abortion and another one that would prohibit sex-selective, race-selective and disability-selective abortions.
Gov. Tony Evers announced news of the vetoes on social media, alleging the bills “would restrict access to reproductive healthcare in Wisconsin.”
“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again today: as long as I’m governor, I will veto any legislation that turns back the clock on reproductive rights in this state – and that’s a promise,” Evers tweeted.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again today: as long as I’m governor, I will veto any legislation that turns back the clock on reproductive rights in this state—and that’s a promise.— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) December 3, 2021
Pro-lifers, though, asserted that the bills were mainstream.
Evers vetoed Senate Bill 16, which would require that doctors who are present when a baby survives an abortion “exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child” as would be given any other baby of the same gestational age. The bill also requires that the baby be “immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.” Under the language of the bill, mothers “may not be prosecuted” if violations occur.
Evers vetoed Senate Bill 593, which would prohibit abortions based on a sex or disability diagnosis, such as Down syndrome. The bill’s text says the doctor may not perform an abortion if he or she “knows that the woman is seeking the abortion solely because” of disability, race, national origin or sex.
According to WKOW, Evers also vetoed bills that:
- Would have banned money from BadgerCare – a state insurance program – from going to abortion providers.
- Would require that doctors tell women seeking a chemical abortion (the abortion pill) that the procedure could possibly be reversed.
- Would require doctors treating mothers “whose fetus tests positive for a congenital condition to provide educational resources on that condition.”
Pro-lifers criticized Evers. Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, a Republican, said Evers “made his position clear today that a life not wanted is a life worth wasting.”
“In other circumstances, babies born alive during operations are given care: Why should this change during an abortion? It shouldn’t,” Steineke said. “Despite our governor’s radical ideologies, I will never stop fighting against this injustice to protect those who cannot protect themselves.”
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.