Follow the Money: The Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health Campaign

Almost every time abortion advocates speak, their words seek to deceive. From distorting the truth to outright lies, they will say almost anything to protect their lucrative abortion business.

This fact was made crystal clear yet again in early June when the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health began a “five-figure” (according to their press release) ad campaign to promote abortion as “safe, quality care.”

The basis of their campaign is a March 16, 2018, report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) entitled, The Safety and Quality of Abortion Care in the United States. The overall theme of the report is that abortion is safe for women and that Wisconsin’s protective, pro-life laws are making it dangerous. This supposedly “non-partisan” report is riddled with misinformation that the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health is promoting with abandon. 

The NASEM study is hardly non-partisan. A cursory perusal of their news releases on “reproductive health” reveals that they never shy away from promoting abortion. The “non-partisan” claim is even more laughable due to the fact that the March report was funded in part by the Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation.

The Buffett foundation was established by billionaire abortion advocate Warren Buffett in the 1960’s. Buffett renamed it the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation for his wife after her death in 2004. It is common knowledge the primary goal of the foundation is to protect legal abortion through a series of secretive grants. Inside Philanthropy said of the Susan Thompson Buffett foundation, “The place is a case study in non-transparency, and it’s super hard to even figure out who’s doing the grantmaking…While you can understand why a foundation that is deeply enmeshed in protecting abortion rights might want to keep a low profile, this seems excessive.”[1]

A “non-partisan” study funded by a secretive, pro-abortion foundation doesn’t pass the straight-face test. As a result, it’s no surprise that NASEM’s March study was designed to scapegoat pro-life laws. It’s also no surprise that the claims made in the NASEM report were deceiving, at best.

First, the NASEM report states that, “requirements, such as multiple visits and waiting periods, delay abortion services, and by doing so may increase the clinical risks and cost of care. They may also limit women’s options for care and impact providers’ ability to provide patient-centered care.” The Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health adds that waiting periods combined with the requirement that women receive “biased information” about their unborn baby’s development adversely affect women’s health.

Anyone who has spent any time in the pro-life movement has heard countless post-abortive women say that, had they known the truth about their unborn baby, they never would have chosen abortion. Many women also say they were never told the truth about their babies at abortion clinics. Instead, their unborn children with fingers, toes, and a beating heart were referred to as the “uterine contents” or “products of conception”.

In the mid-1990s Wisconsin Right to Life put its support behind the Woman’s Right to Know Act which became law in 1996. This law requires women to learn the truth about the development of their unborn child and have a 24-hour reflection period before undergoing an abortion. Wisconsin Act 37, also known as “Sonya’s Law” was supported by Wisconsin Right to Life and enacted in 2013. This law requires that women undergo an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion, as well.

According to the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health, ultrasounds and facts on fetal development are “biased information”. Of course, the real reason that abortion advocates hate these laws is that they cut into their massive profits. According to Live Action, Planned Parenthood stands to lose $12,660,511 each year because of mandatory waiting periods.[2] Similarly, informing women about the truth of their unborn child’s humanity steers women away from abortion as well as money away from the coffers of the abortion industry.

Second, the NASEM study claims laws promoted by Wisconsin Right to Life that require a physician to perform an abortion are lowering the standard of abortion care in Wisconsin.

The “Physician-Only Requirement” was one of the first protective, pro-life laws supported by Wisconsin Right to Life. Signed into law in 1985, this law prohibits non-physicians such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and nurse-midwives from performing abortions.

Again, because they only care about profits rather than women’s health, abortion advocates strongly oppose these laws. Per usual, abortion advocates have trotted out flawed studies “proving” it is “safe” for non-physicians to perform abortions. One such study was conducted by Tracy Weitz and was released in 2013. It is entitled, Safety of Aspiration Abortion Performed by Nurse Practitioners, Certified Nurse Midwives, and Physician Assistants Under a California Legal Waiver. Weitz’s study provided support for California Assembly Bill 154 which legalized abortions performed by non-physicians in the state.

Weitz’s study immediately came under the scrutiny of pro-life physicians. Dr. Mary Davenport, an obstetrician/gynecologist practicing in San Francisco, claimed that Weitz had a predetermined conclusion to the study before she ever began her research, saying, ” [Weitz is] a brilliant woman. She had a firm ideology about abortion access, and then she did a study that was instrumental in getting this law (California Assembly Bill 154) passed in the legislature.”

After analyzing the sampling and data methods used in the Weitz study, Davenport and her colleagues determined that they provided an artificially low number of reported complications. Davenport said, “If they’re not seeing [a complication], they’re just not finding it. They don’t want to find it.”[3]

A cursory review of the procedures performed by nurse midwives, physicians’ assistants, and other paramedical professionals shows that they are not trained to perform complex surgery.  The thought of a midwife performing a hysterectomy or a physician assistant removing an appendix is inconceivable. Why should abortion be any different?

There is another reason abortion advocates desperately want non-physicians to perform abortions: legitimate doctors don’t want to do them. A 2011 study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that only 14% of Obstetrician/Gynecologists were willing to perform abortions.[4]

Another “finding” of the NASEM study related to their support of non-physicians performing abortions is that the prohibition of “Telemedicine Abortions,” or webcam abortions, in Wisconsin is hurting women.

Wisconsin Right to Life supported The Coercive and Webcam Abortion Prevention Act which was signed into law in 2012.  This law prohibits webcam abortions which are occurring in Iowa and Minnesota from being introduced into local communities in Wisconsin. It requires a physical exam and in-person administration of dangerous chemical abortion-inducing drugs like RU-486.

There is good reason for physicians to be involved in chemical abortions. The Australian reported the following regarding a 2011 study in Australia:

The “audit” of nearly 7000 abortions performed in South Australia in 2009 and last year found that 3.3 per cent of women who used mifepristone in the first trimester of pregnancy – when  most elective terminations occur – later turned up at hospital emergency departments, against 2.2 per cent who had undergone surgery…and the rate of hospital admission jumped to 5.7 per cent for recipients of early “medical” abortions – using drugs – compared with 0.4 per cent for surgical patients re-admitted for post-operative treatment.[5]

These are only a few of the spurious claims made in the NASEM study on which the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health is basing their new ad campaign. While every one of their complaints is easily dismissed, there is one reason the Alliance is targeting Wisconsin’s pro-life laws: they are saving lives and hurting the profits of Wisconsin’s abortion industry.

The numbers are clear: Because of the pro-life laws supported by Wisconsin Right to Life, our abortion rate in Wisconsin has dropped over 70% from an all-time high in 1980. Our laws have helped save 170,401 lives since 1987, when records were first kept. All of this translates to millions of dollars lost to the abortion industry in Wisconsin.

There is something else very insidious about the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health campaign: the audience they are targeting. According to the press release on the campaign, these ads are being run where their pro-abortion allies and lawmakers will see them:  The WisPolitics Midday podcast, plus digital ads on WisPolitics, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and CapTimes news sites. Their goal? Eradicating Wisconsin’s pro-life laws and increasing their profits from the deaths of babies and the heartache of their mothers.

For 50 years, Wisconsin Right to Life has been working to protect the most vulnerable members of our society.  In addition to protective legislation, we have numerous ways that we are working to save lives as well as change hearts and minds.

Our Veritas Society uses television, digital media, and the internet to tell abortion-vulnerable young people the truth about abortion. Our Emergency Grant program provides financial resources to abortion-vulnerable women so they can choose life. Our Teens for Life, Life on Campus, and Life Camp programs teach young people the truth about life and enable them to share this truth with their peers.

The bottom line of the abortion industry is always money, and the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health campaign is further proof of this. With your help, Wisconsin Right to Life will continue protecting lives and telling the truth until every vulnerable life is safe and valued.


[1]David Callahan “Who’s Who at the Secretive Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation?” Inside Philanthropy.

[2] Calvin Freiburger “Contrary to Pro-Abortion Study, Mandatory Waiting Periods Save Lives”,  www.LiveAction.org March 28, 2016.

[3] Shannon Firth “Do Nurses, Midwives, and PAs Fill Gap as Abortion Providers — When Physician is Removed, Does Risk Increase?” MedPage Today, March 3, 2015.

[4] “Proportion of Ob-Gyns Performing Abortions May Be Lower Than Thought”  www.npr.org, August 22, 2011.

[5] Jamie Walker “Abortion Pill Less Safe than Surgery” The Australian, May 7, 2011.

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Act Now: Title X Protect Life Rule Comment Period is OPEN

The comment period for the Title X Protect Life rule is open, and we need pro-lifers to send in a flood of positive comments!

Action steps:

1.) Visit the website where comments are made.

2.) Click “Comment Now!” on the upper right hand side of the page.

3.) Enter and submit your comment in support of the Protect Life Rule! Here is a sample comment that you can customize:

To Whom it May Concern,

I strongly support the proposed rule “Compliance With Statutory Program Integrity Requirements” (HHS-OS-2018-0008), also known as the “Protect Life Rule.”

Abortion is not family planning, and this rule would draw a bright line between abortion and family planning.

Currently 266 Planned Parenthood abortion centers are also federal Title X locations. Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion business and receives $50-$60 million a year from Title X. They should not be entitled to treat Title X as their personal slush fund. 

This rule would direct taxpayer funds to family planning providers who stay out of the abortion business. Women and girls are best served at alternative health care centers including community and rural health care centers that outnumber Planned Parenthood abortion facilities by more than 20 to 1 nationwide.

I strongly urge adoption of the rule.


4.) Share this action alert with friends!

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Gov. Walker Proclaims Wisconsin Right to Life Day

Speaking at Wisconsin Right to Life’s 50th Anniversary Gala in Milwaukee on April 13, 2018, Wisconsin’s pro-life Governor, Scott Walker, presented Executive Director Heather Weininger with a framed proclamation declaring Sunday, September 9, 2018, as Wisconsin Right to Life Day in our state.

In part, the proclamation reads:

“WHEREAS, 50 years have elapsed since Wisconsin Right to Life was originally formed under the name Wisconsin Citizens Concerned for the Unborn on September 9, 1968; and WHEREAS, Wisconsin Right to Life has established itself as the preeminent right-to-life organization in Wisconsin and for the last 50 years has been saving lives by changing hearts and minds to favor life . . . NOW, THEREFORE, I, Scott Walker, Governor of the State of Wisconsin, do hereby proclaim Sunday, September 9, 2018, as WISCONSIN RIGHT TO LIFE DAY throughout the State of Wisconsin, and I commend this observance to all of our citizens.”

Our thanks to Gov. Walker for honoring our organization in this very special way!

Learn more about the planned observation of Wisconsin Right to Life Day on Sunday, September 9, 2018, in Wisconsin churches here:

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Can’t Make it to the March for Life? Find a Local Pro-Life Event Near You!

If you can’t make it to the March for Life in Washington D.C., why not join a pro-life event in your area?

Below is a list of events near the anniversary of Roe v. Wade all around Wisconsin – find something near you and join pro-lifers in your area!

(P.S. Are we missing your local pro-life event? Email cduffy@wrtl.org)

January 20th – Kenosha County Annual Gathering at 10:30 am

January 21st – Door County Candlelight Vigil at 6:30 pm

January 21st – Shawano County Rally for Life at 1 pm – Contact Mike for more information

January 22nd – Marathon County Light the Night for the Unborn at 5:30 pm

January 22nd – Green Bay March for Life 6:30 pm – Contact Rose for more information

January 22nd – Madison March for Life at 12 pm

January 28th – Marathon County Life Chain at 11 am

January 28th – Portage County Walk for Life at 2 pm

January 28th – Eau Claire County Rally for Life at 2 pm

We will continue to update this list, so check often!

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Bad News for Milwaukee’s Most Vulnerable

The terrible news broke Friday afternoon: Planned Parenthood will open a new, $8 million, state-of-the-art abortion facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Tuesday, October 10th. Adding to this shocking news is the fact that the abortion giant is paying for the new killing center entirely with private donations 

The new facility will be located in Milwaukee’s trendy Third Ward, home to some of the city’s most expensive real estate. In addition, the 12,000-square-foot clinic will feature an expanded waiting room, more exam and consultation rooms than their existing Milwaukee facility, as well as areas for women and children. Children can relax and play in comfort while a little brother, sister, cousin, or friend loses their life only a few feet away. 

Yet again, this leaves us with just one question: Why does Planned Parenthood need taxpayer money?  

The fact that Planned Parenthood continues to insist that they need taxpayer funding while building an $8 million facility with private funds is beyond the pale. It is shocking that they blame Wisconsin’s protective, pro-life laws for the closure of rural clinics while, at the same time, they build an upscale clinic in Milwaukee’s hot spot: The Third Ward. 

Planned Parenthood’s true colors have been exposed once again: They don’t care about women. They care about money. Planned Parenthood always follows the money — whether it be from taxpayer’s wallets, gullible donors, or exploiting women at the expense of their children’s lives. 

Within the last six years, Wisconsin Right to Life supported legislation signed into law that directed a cumulative $8 million away from Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. The fact that money continues to flow through their doors is proof-positive they have no need for taxpayer dollars. 

Here in Wisconsin, the number of abortions has been dropping steadily for years. In fact, it has dropped 15% in the last three years alone, to an all-time low of 5,612 abortions in 2016. Of course, that is 5,612 abortions too many, but the steady decline has shown that our strategy of combining a strong legislative agenda along with our powerful Veritas media campaign targeting abortion-vulnerable women is working. 

Despite our success, Planned Parenthood continues to be Enemy #1 to women and children everywhere.  We will continue to urge legislators to completely defund the abortion giant. We will continue to fight for laws that protect unborn children and their mothers. We will continue to educate society regarding the truth about the abortion industry so hearts and minds are changed to favor life. We will not stop until every vulnerable member of our society is protected.  

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Action Alert: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion in WI! Important Hearing April 19th

On April 19th at 1 pm, there will be a hearing at the State Capitol in Room 225 Northwest on AB 128. AB 128 (also known as SB 81 in the State Senate) ensures that the Group Insurance Board does not contract with any insurance plan for state employees that covers abortions.

Why is this important? State employees’ health insurance is paid with taxpayer dollars. If state employees’ health insurance covers abortions, that essentially means those abortions are taxpayer funded!

Here where we need pro-life action:

1.) If you are able, please come to the hearing at the State Capitol April 19th at 1 pm in Room 225 Northwest. Email Chelsea Shields at cshields@wrtl.org for help navigating the Capitol and learning how to register in favor and/or testify in favor of AB 128/SB 81.
2.) If you cannot make it to the hearing, please call your State Senator and State Representative and let them know you support AB 128/SB 81 because no taxpayer dollars should pay for abortions! Find your legislators by typing your address into the search box here.
3.) Please ask three (or more!) friends to contact their legislators or come to the hearing as well!

Pro-life action saves lives. Keep up the great work!

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Learn More About Notorious Abortionist Gosnell at the NRL Convention This Summer in Milwaukee

Wisconsin Right to Life is thrilled to host the National Right to Life Convention this summer in Milwaukee!

This convention is filled with impactful information from a wide variety of pro-life speakers and experts that will sharpen your skills in the fight for life and invigorate your passion for the cause.

One of NRL Convention’s keynote speakers that I’m excited to tell you about is Ann McElhinney. She is an author, journalist, and film producer who wrote along with her husband the NYT Best Seller Gosnell – The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer.

I have to admit, I had a hard time actually getting myself to read her book. Deep down, I knew I was not quite ready for the horrific truth it would tell – I’d probably never be ready. But I knew this book would share what has happened to real people, living human beings.

I returned from a mini-vacation with my husband and children to see that Gosnell had arrived in the mail. Even though I was hesitant to pick it up, I took a deep breath and dove into its pages. For the sake of Gosnell’s victims, I had to learn more.

Let me tell you, this book had me constantly wondering whether I was truly reading non-fiction, or fiction. I knew Kermit Gosnell was a notorious Philadelphia abortionist responsible for the deaths of thousands of unborn children. What I didn’t know was the extent of the atrocities he committed, completelyunobserved – or even blatantly ignored – by governmental bureaucratic agencies.

After reading the book in one sitting, I couldn’t shake the feeling of horror.

What shook me the most was the fact that Kermit Gosnell was not eventually arrested and convicted due to his gory abortion practice or barbaric medical conditions. It was because he was suspected on a drug charge.

Ultimately, justice prevailed and Kermit Gosnell is behind bars. But our work isn’t over until all of his victims are recognized – the vulnerable mothers subjected to the sickening conditions of his abortion facilities, and the unborn children who lost their precious lives at his hands.

If you have read Gosnell, want to learn more about him, or want to dive deeper into how we can prevent further atrocities like the ones he committed, join us in Milwaukee from June 29th – July 1st, 2017.  It’seasy to register today!

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URGENT ACTION ALERT: Call your member of Congress to let them know abortion is NOT health care!

Tell Your Congressional Representative to Vote for H.R. 1628, the American Healthcare Act of 2017, with its Current Pro-Life Provisions

CD 1: Speaker Paul Ryan (202) 225-3031

CD 2: Rep. Mark Pocan (202) 225-2906

CD 3: Rep. Ron Kind (202) 225-5506

CD 4: Rep. Gwen Moore (202) 225-4572

CD 5: Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (202) 225-5101

CD 6: Rep. Glenn Grothman (202) 225-2476

CD 7: Rep. Sean Duffy (202) 225-3365

CD 8: Rep. Mike Gallagher (202) 225-5665

Don’t know your member of Congress? Find out here.

Let them know they should support H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017, with its current pro-life provisions. Abortion is not healthcare!

This legislation is likely to come up for a vote TOMORROW, Thursday, March 23rd, and would eliminate multiple abortion-subsidizing and abortion-expanding provisions of Obamacare.

WRTL’s parent organization National Right to Life supports H.R. 1628 as it is written because it:

1.) prevents credits from being used for plans that pay for abortions

2.) eliminates about 85% of federal PP funding for the next year

3) preserves non-taxed employer provided health plans

4) postpones the “Cadillac tax” until 2026

National Right to Life’s position applies only to the current House language. If the bill is altered in any way adverse to pro-life interests, their position will be reevaluated. 

Please express this to your member of Congress.

Please immediately forward any feedback or responses you receive to Jennifer Popik – National Right to Life’s Federal Legislative Director – jpopik@nrlc.org – 202.378.8863

Have any questions? Email WRTL’s Legislative Director Chelsea Shields

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Wisconsin Right to Life Mourns the Death of Norma McCorvey

Wisconsin Right to Life mourns the death of pro-life activist Norma McCorvey, known as “Jane Roe” in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. McCorvey became an outspoken advocate for the right-to-life cause. McCorvey died at her assisted-living facility in Texas on Saturday, February 18th. She was 69.

“While pro-abortion advocates used Norma McCorvey to advance their efforts to legalize abortion in the early 1970s, she spent the last half of her life attempting to right the terrible wrong of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision,” stated Heather Weininger, Executive Director of Wisconsin Right to Life. “Norma became an outspoken advocate for protecting the lives of mothers and their unborn children, speaking at right-to-life events across the country. Norma McCorvey was a friend and valued ally in the fight for life, and she will be deeply missed.”

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President Trump Reinstates Lifesaving Mexico City Policy

President Trump Reinstates Lifesaving Mexico City Policy » Wisconsin Right to Life

“Wisconsin Right to Life is extremely happy to hear that today, President Donald Trump signed an order to reinstate the lifesaving Mexico City Policy, which prevents taxpayer funds from going to organizations that promote abortion overseas,” stated Heather Weininger, Executive Director of Wisconsin Right to Life.

“This order defunds Planned Parenthood and other groups’ international efforts to promote their radical abortion agenda. No taxpayer dollar should ever be used for abortion advocacy, ever,” continued Weininger.

“We thank President Trump for reinstating this lifesaving policy, and look forward to the day that he can sign legislation that will completely deny Planned Parenthood access to a single taxpayer dime.”

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