MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday sent four abortion bills to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who has promised to veto all of them.
One measure addresses the extremely rare occurrence in which a baby is born alive during an abortion attempt. It would impose criminal penalties on doctors who fail to give medical care to such babies. Organizations representing obstetricians and gynecologists, along with Democratic opponents, say existing laws already provide protections to every healthy newborn, whether born during a failed abortion or under other circumstances.
“No child should be left to die no matter how they came into this world,” said the bill’s lead sponsor, Republican Senate President Roger Roth. “How could anyone object to this?”
Republicans don’t have the votes to override a veto. Democratic Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling said Republicans were pushing the bill merely to fire up their conservative base.
“This is not going to become law,” Shilling said. “Gov. Evers will veto this.”
Evers is expected to act within days.
The bill passed on a 17-14 vote, with all Democrats against and all Republicans in support, except Sen. Andre Jacque who wanted the measure to go further and allow for the mother to face felony charges.
Other bills passed would cut off Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood, prohibit abortions based on the fetus’ race, sex or defects and require providers to tell women seeking abortions using the drug mifepristone that the process may be reversed after the first dose. All three passed on party line votes, with Republicans in support and Democrats against.