Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Politics & Government

Anti-Abortion Bills Advance


A Wisconsin Senate committee approved two bills Thursday, along party lines, that could restrict abortions.

One measure would prohibit state health insurance plans from providing abortion services and exempt religious organizations from providing contraception coverage.

Another would penalize those who perform abortions for gender-selection reasons.

Democratic Sen. Jon Erpenbach has promised a bitter fight when the full Senate takes up the bills next Tuesday. He says he especially opposes the ending of some contraceptive coverage for public employees, insisting the change gives the state too much power over workers' medical decisions.

Julaine Appling of the anti-abortion group Wisconsin Family Action accuses Erpenbach of planning to stall action on the bills. She says insurance companies will decide whether or not to cover contraceptives.

The Senate Health Committee advanced the bills on 3-2 votes, with Republicans voting in favor and Democrats against.

The Assembly has already approved the measures.