Hearing on UW abortion ban to be held by Wisconsin Republicans

Wisconsin Capitol in Madison

All University of Wisconsin System and UW health workers would be banned from performing abortions or training others to perform abortions under a Republican bill up for a public hearing Wednesday in a state legislative committee.

The bill’s chief sponsor. Sen. Andre Jacque, said the measure is designed to stop state-funded UW physicians from performing abortions at Planned Parenthood’s Madison clinic, a practice he argues violates a state law forbidding taxpayer-funded abortions.

Opponents counter the proposal would put federal accreditation of the university’s obstetrics-gynecology program at risk, jeopardizing the quality of the entire medical program.

Jacque introduced an identical bill in 2017. It did not advance beyond committee. If this year's measure were to pass the Republican-controlled Legislature, it would almost certainly face a veto from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

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The Wisconsin Medical Society, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin and UW-Madison faculty group PROFS have all registered in opposition to this year's bill. Pro-Life Wisconsin is the only group registered in support.

Editor's update: In a story May 26, 2021, about a legislative bill that would end an arrangement that lets University of Wisconsin obstetrics/gynecology residents train on abortion procedures at a Planned Parenthood clinic, The Associated Press erroneously reported that a university official had said the medical school’s accreditation was at risk if the bill wasn’t dropped. Robert Golden, dean of the School of Medicine and Public Health, said the accreditation at risk was for the school’s obstetrics/gynecology program, not the entire medical school.