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Legislation/Elections

Cruz leads Trump in two Wisconsin polls, Sanders has narrow lead over Clinton in one poll

Two recent polls put Texas Senator Ted Cruz ahead of Donald Trump in Wisconsin (by 5 and 10 points, respectively) while Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders is narrowly ahead of Hillary Clinton in a new Marquette University Law School poll.

While a Sanders win in the Badger State next week by itself would not seem to change the delegate dynamics on the Democratic side, should Trump lose decisively, it would increase the odds he would not have the 1,237 delegates necessary to win the Republican presidential nomination and thus a contested convention.

Harry Enten, writing for fivethirtyeight.com carefully tracked and probed the results of the Basswood Research poll, which put Cruz’s lead at 5 percentage points, and the poll conducted by Marquette University Law School, which had Cruz enjoying a 10 percentage point cushion.

“Wisconsin has 42 delegates — 18 go to the statewide winner and three go to the winner of each of the state’s eight congressional districts,” Enten explained. In other words, if Cruz wins the state, he has a base of 18 delegates plus three from each CD he wins.

The Marquette poll has a regional breakdown of its results.

“Cruz holds comfortable leads in Milwaukee, the Milwaukee suburbs and Green Bay,” Enten explains. “Those roughly align with the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th congressional districts. If Cruz wins all these districts, he’ll take an additional 15 delegates. If the Marquette poll proves accurate, Trump will be competitive only in the Madison television market and the northern and western parts of the state, roughly the 2nd, 3rd and 7th congressional districts.”

Gov. John Kasich in ahead in one district–the 2nd congressional district area, home to the University of Wisconsin. Enten concludes

If Trump were to lose the 2nd congressional district to Kasich, in addition to the five districts to Cruz, that would leave only the six delegates up for grabs in the 3rd and 7th districts — and the trends there, in the state’s north and west, aren’t good for Trump.

“Overall, if the Marquette poll is dead accurate, the delegate count from Wisconsin will likely break down something like Cruz 33 to 39, Trump 0 to 6, and Kasich 3.”

Meanwhile that same Marquette University Law School poll showed Sanders upping his modest lead over Clinton from one percentage point (44% to 43%) to four percentage points )49% to 45%).

This comes on the heels of Sanders’ sweep in caucuses in Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii and an uptick in his national support among Democrats and Democratic-leaners.

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This post originally appeared online at National Right to Life News

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Issues raised as the Supreme Court Considers Texas Abortion Law–Part 2: A Dying Business

Editor’s note. In last Wednesday’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, litigants made several key contentions they say demonstrate that HB 2 resulted in an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions in Texas.

At issue in the challenge to portions of HB 2 are two requirements: that abortionists have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and that abortion clinics meet the standards of an ambulatory surgical center (ASC).

Yesterday, Dr. O’Bannon did a masterful view addressing arguments made by the Center for Reproductive Rights’ Stephanie Toti, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, and U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.

In Part Two, Dr. O’Bannon picks up where he left off, debunking the notion that after passage of HB 2, clinics no longer had the “capacity” to meet the demand for abortion.

Yesterday, we looked at arguments and evidence presented to the court by Ms. Toti and Solicitor General Verrilli that asserted that the 2013 Texas law was responsible for the closing of about twenty clinics, leaving the remaining clinics with greater demand than they could possibly handle.

But, as we explained, the data on the timing, the number, and the reasons behind the clinics closings was nowhere near as clear cut as the abortion industry’s defenders wanted the High Court to believe.

And the discussion of the capacity of legally compliant clinics to handle the caseloads hinged on an assumption that data in Texas and national data has proven false – that demand for abortion remains constant.

Abortion clinics close for many reasons – scandal, poor management, failure to meet basic safety standards, etc. But one of the biggest reasons is simply that there isn’t enough business to keep them all in operation and profitable.

Failing to account for diminished demand

Toti, lead counsel for the plaintiffs in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, argued the new law was responsible for the closing of more than 20 clinics. Under questioning from the justices, she admitted that some of these clinics closed prior to the enforcement of the law. And she agreed with Justice Samuel Alito that at least one of the clinics on her list had closed for other reasons.

But this is only part of the story. There were supposed to be 41 clinics in Texas before the law was passed, according to Toti.

Yet in a 2006 factsheet, the Guttmacher Institute wrote there had been 65 “abortion providers” as recently as 2000. Thus, the inescapable conclusion is that the number of clinics was already in steep decline before HB2 was ever passed.

Moreover Guttmacher, a pro-abortion think tank, has demonstrated a significant long-term national downward trend in the number of abortionists. By 2011, after peaking at 2,918 in its 1982 count, the number of “providers” has dropped by more than 40%, to just 1,720. The two developments obviously are related. To some degree, the closing of clinics in Texas merely mirrors the larger trend of closing abortion clinics nationwide.

A recent study from Bloomberg Businessweek shows the national decline continuing. The story said that nationwide 162 clinics had shut their doors or stopped providing abortions since 2011. Even though 21 new clinics opened in that time frame, closures still vastly outpaced openings. The question is why.

Many reasons for closures

Bloomberg found that these clinics have closed for a variety of reasons. Some they do attribute to the passage of new laws and regulations. Others, however, closed because of what Bloomberg termed “unfit providers.”  The classic example here would be Kermit Gosnell, whose butchery prompted much of the legislation now being passed and litigated.

Bloomberg admits that several closed because there was “no doctor available.” The abortion industry has scrambled to recruit and train new abortionists for years, but has not had success in getting these out in the field. This is one important reason behind the push for web-cam abortion– which require a minimal number of trained staff–and intense efforts to allow nurses, midwives, and physician assistants to perform abortion.

What else? “Business decisions” also played a role in some closures, which could be anything from financial mismanagement to a determination that there was simply not enough demand to hire in an abortionist or keep a clinic open.

What Toti and the abortion industry did not want to admit to the Supreme Court is that one of the basic reasons behind the closure of clinics is that there is reduced demand for their services.

And, as NRL News Today has shown in many stories, there is evidence of that diminishing demand in Texas and nationally.

Insufficient abortions for clinics to stay in business

Guttmacher says there were over 110,000 abortions performed in Texas in 1981. By 2011–long before passage of HB 2– the number was down to 73,200 . [1]

The reduction in the number of abortions, both yearly and cumulatively, could not help but affect clinic business. There is no way that an industry could lose more than a third of its “customers “and still keep all its clinics open, particularly those dependent on abortion. To repeat, this indisputable fact typically gets overlooked.

In a business with numbers of aging abortionists working out of older, smaller, more dilapidated buildings or storefronts that need extensive repair and remodeling, the passage of the law, the rolling out of its various provisions, simply presented a prime opportunity for these abortionists to retire and the clinic to shut down.

In one sense, that the law passed when it did and went into effect when it did gave clinics a strategic time and target date for already inevitable closures made it possible for the abortion industry and its academic abettors to blame the law. But as we have seen, looked at more broadly, many factors were responsible and these closings were simply the result of several trends coming to a head.

Abortion is, after all, a dying business.

May it please the Court….

What we have seen thus far is that there is no cut-and-dried evidence to support the assertion that HB 2 caused clinics to close in Texas.

Clinics closed before and after the law passed and was put in force, and for many different reasons. Declining numbers are an indication that demand for abortion continues to drop. That some of these clinics were old and that there were safety and sanitation issues was reason enough both for clinics to close and for legislators to be concerned .

The abortion industry has been transforming itself for years, some of it because of pro-life legislation, but also in response to changing business conditions. They are hardly passive actors in this latest trend, closing smaller less profitable clinics in smaller cities and more remote areas and pointing patients towards large, modern, up to code mega-clinics in the big cities. These huge mega-clinics are more than capable of handling the caseloads.

What the abortion industry does not want to see is anything that draws attention to its failings; that shows abortion to be the dangerous, bloody reality that it is; or that in any way inhibits their ability to promote and profit from abortion on demand.

They will try to cow the courts and the media with charts and numbers and statistics, but the reality remains. Abortion was never a solution to women’s problems, and fewer women are buying it anymore.

In Part Three, we will look further at the evidence and arguments the Supreme Court heard in Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt. We’ll look at claims that the law has changed the timing and type of abortions women are having (that women are having later abortions) and what might be the consequences of long travel times.

[1] The number Grossman cites, which the Supreme Court seems to discuss, comes from the Texas state health department. That number, 68,298 for 2012, is the one reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which does its own abortion surveillance.

Those numbers are generally smaller, but track trends from Guttmacher fairly closely. The state health department for Texas showed 63,849 abortions for 2013, a further decline reflecting similar declines in other states.

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Issues raised as the Supreme Court Considers Texas Abortion Law–Part 1: Behind the Clinic Closures

By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D. NRL Director of Education & Research

In reading through the transcript of the oral arguments made before the Supreme Court in last Wednesday’s case of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, there are several pivotal contentions challengers made in seeking to overturn HB 2, the 2013 omnibus Texas pro-life law. We will consider one today, the second on Wednesday, with the completion scheduled for Thursday.

# 1. Is the new law is responsible for the closure of many of the state’s abortion clinics, and does the closing of these clinics represents an “undue burden” on a woman seeking to abort her child?

Counting clinics at the court

As NRL News Today readers know, the plaintiffs challenged two requirements: that abortionists have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and that abortion clinics meet the standards of an ambulatory surgical center (ASC). Whether and how much these provisions were responsible for clinic closures, and whether these closures resulted in an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions, quickly became the focus of discussion on the court.

Just minutes into the oral arguments, the Center for Reproductive Rights’ Stephanie Toti, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, made mention of “new” evidence of clinic closures directly tied to the enforcement of the law’s requirement that abortionists have admitting privileges to local hospitals.

Justice Samuel Alito noted “there is very little specific evidence in the record in this case with respect to why any particular clinic closed.” This is very important.

Blaming the admitting privileges requirement

Toti argued that the “timing” of the closures, more than 20 clinics closing within a short period of time, was evidence of the connection. Toti told Justice Stephen Breyer that “Eight closed prior to initial enforcement of the admitting privileges requirement, and 11 closed the day that the admitting privileges requirement first took effect.”

Alito again asked Toti whether she had direct evidence that the law closed the clinics. Toti said she did for 12, but Alito asked if she did, why didn’t she put that evidence in the record. Alito said that “as to some of them, there is – there’s information that they closed for reasons that had nothing to do with this law.”

Alito was specific where Toti wasn’t. Alito asked Toti whether the Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan was one of those she was counting. Toti said “Yes, Your Honor.” Alito then cited a Huffington Post news report that said that clinic was closed as a result of the 2011 Texas Women’s Health Program bill, a different law, not being considered in this case, which cut funding to family planning clinics involved in abortions.

Toti said she would supply citations for those clinic closings for the record later.

Effect of ASC requirement

Justice Elena Kagan then stepped in. She began discussing the effect of the other provision of the law, the requirement that abortion clinics meet the standards of ASCs.

As challenges worked their way through the courts, that provision was first enforced, and then stayed two weeks later. Kagan said “over a dozen facilities shut their doors” when it was in effect, but reopened once it was enjoined. She called it “almost like a perfect controlled experiment as to the effect of the law.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy shifted the conversation. He asked about capacity, whether the remaining clinics would be able to handle the caseload of clinics that had closed. This cut through the clutter to the heart of the matter. The number of clinics that did or did not close was of little consequence if the remaining clinics could do the work of those that were shut down

Toti began by stating that she thought there was “sufficient evidence in the record… that the remaining clinics, which would number fewer than ten, don’t have the capacity to meet the statewide demand.”

So, where was the “evidence”? We find out the nature and source of this evidence from Donald Verrilli, the Obama administration’s solicitor general, who joined Toti in challenging HB 2.

Verrilli argued that the ASC requirement reduced capacity (because some closed) and the remaining abortion clinics couldn’t meet demand. Prior to the law, Verrilli said, there were about 65,000 to 70,000 abortions a year and that “the ASC facilities that will be able to remain open performed about 14,000 a year.”

But where did Verrilli get this information? “That’s what the record tells you. It’s Dr. Grossman’s expert testimony.”

Grossman and his “evidence”

Though we do not have direct access to the formal court briefing documents, we do know who Dr. Grossman is and we do have access to the “expert testimony” of Dr. Daniel Grossman given to U.S. District Court back in August of 2014. His testimony there appears to make the same claims and use the same language to which the lawyers and justices refer.

Daniel Grossman is a rising star in the abortion academic establishment, an abortionist who is an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), known as America’s abortion academy. In addition to serving as a Vice President for Research at Ibis Reproductive Health, a group promoting worldwide expansion of abortion, being on the editorial board of Contraception, one of the country’s premier abortion research journals, and serving as a liaison to the Planned Parenthood National Medical Committee, Grossman also happens to be a “co-investigator” at the Texas Policy and Evaluation Project (TxPEP), a group specifically formed in the last five years to develop research to challenge pro-life laws in Texas.

It is in this last capacity that Grossman and his colleagues developed the data to which the justices are referring.

Grossman on closures

In his testimony to the District Court, Grossman does indeed claim that there were 41 “facilities” performing abortion as of April 30, 2013, and said that some twenty clinics ceased operations or stopped abortion performance by the time his report was written. (These are the numbers that Toti and the Justices discussed in court last week.)

As Justice Breyer said, Grossman’s testimony shows eight clinics closed or stopped performing abortion from May 1,2013 (just before the law was passed) to October 31, 2013 (right before the admitting privileges provision went into effect), with 11 closing once the admitting privileges requirement went into effect. (About these last 11 closures, Grossman said only that they occurred between November 1, 2013, the implementation date, and his next data end point, April 30, 2014, though press accounts did indeed show many occurring the day the law took effect.)

But Justice Alito, and later Chief Justice John Roberts, were totally on mark in questioning the claim that the law was the cause of these closures. Grossman says the decline “appears to be related to changes in State law,” which he said includes HB2. But the “changes” he spoke of also included the state’s 2011 restructuring of its funding for “family planning” services.

Furthermore, Grossman admitted in his testimony that “I am not here offering any opinion on the cause of the decline in the number of abortion facilities” during that study period running from November of 2012 to April 2014.

As noted above, Justice Alito pointed out that according to a news account, one of the clinics to which Toti pointed to as having closed, in fact, closed not because of HB2, but because of the earlier Texas law which cut family planning funds to abortion performing organizations. And, unlike Toti, it is notable that even Grossman, the plaintiffs’ expert, is hesitant to directly chalk all these closures up to the new admitting privileges requirement.

Grossman on “capacity”

Grossman’s testimony to the District Court was given prior to the time that the ASC provision went into effect. So he could provide no hard historical numbers on closures or consequences that followed when that provision temporarily was in place. But he does speculate about the capacity of ASC compliant clinics to meet the Texas caseload. [1]

How does he do that? Grossman takes abortion statistics he gained from anonymous phone calls made to Texas clinics over three six month periods (11/1/12 – 4/30/13, 5/1/13 – 10/31/13, 11/1/13 – 4/30/14) and compares them to official state statistics for 2012.

From this he draws conclusions about trends in the number, type, and location of abortions. And from those, he projects, among other things, what he considers “capacity” for these ASCs.

Grossman noted that the numbers of abortions performed at ASCs in each of this three study periods declined, from 9,378 to 8,867 to 6,786. The total of abortions fell 13% during this year and a half, from 35,415 in 11/12-4/13, to 30,800 in 11/13-4/14. However the numbers of first trimester abortions increased during that same time frame from 20,698 to 23,531.

What Grossman concluded from that data was that this was “indicative of [ASC’s] inability to increase capacity in the face of growing demand.” It is then that Grossman makes the observation that Verrilli references–that “My opinion is that these existing ASCs as a group will not be able to go from providing approximately 14,000 abortions annually, as they currently are, to providing the 60,000 to 70,000 abortions that are done each year in Texas once all of the non-ASC clinics are forced to close.”

Countering the capacity argument

Grossman doesn’t tell us the number of ASCs in each study period in his testimony. But in news stories from the time in which reporters asked him about his data on clinics affected by the new rules, it is mentioned that there were just six in the state meeting the ASC requirement (Texas Tribune, 7/23/14).

If so, and if 14,000 abortions a year is supposed to be their combined capacity, that would imply an average maximum caseload of about 2,300 per ASC (14,000 divided by 6).

Verrilli tells the Court, obviously looking at Grossman’s data, that the existing ASCs performed about 20% of the abortions in the study (Grossman’s research had ASCs performing 26.4% of Texas abortions in his first six month study period and 22% in his last). Verrilli told the justices “these facilities aren’t going to be able to increase by four or five times,” which appears supported by Grossman’s claim that ASCs were at capacity in late 2013 to early 2014 and unable to handle the additional caseload other clinics picked up with the closures.

However this assumes a number of things not necessarily supported by the data. For example, the most basic: Is 2,300 to 2,400 the maximum caseload of an ASC?

Going back to data from Grossman’s testimony, this does not appear to be the case. In his original data tracking abortions performed in Texas between November of 2012 and April of 2014, Grossman says that ASCs performed 9,378 abortions in the first six months he studied (11/1/12-4/30/13) and nearly that many (8,867) in the six months following (5/1/14-10/31/14) the imposition of the admitting privileges requirement.

Unless there were veteran abortionists who retired or significant closures of ASC abortion clinics between the first and the last of Grossman’s study periods, it would mean that the earlier results showed an average annual caseload for six clinics was closer to 3,000 than 2,300.

Note, though, that an October 2015 report by Grossman and his colleagues at TxPEP admitted that the actual clinic caseloads in Texas were even higher, with clinics in major metropolitan areas reporting average annual abortions per facility at 3,744 (Austin), 4,415 (Dallas-Ft.Worth), 3,861 (Houston), and 4,428 (San Antonio).

Even this is not capacity. Scott Keller, Solicitor General for Texas, told the justices that the ASC run by Planned Parenthood in Houston estimated it could perform 9,000 annually.

The number of ASCs is also higher now than it was then, perhaps due to the Planned Parenthood’s building of new megaclinics. Keller pointed out that Planned Parenthood operates five ASCs in Texas and noted that there were another four ASCs operated by others and a clinic in McAllen, Texas that lower courts had exempted from that requirement!

So while one might try to make the case that six compliant ASC clinics with caseloads of 2,400 each could not suddenly handle a caseload four or five times that large, that’s not the real situation in Texas. It’s much different situation of when, in fact, there are ten operational clinics with caseloads ranging from 4,000 to 9,000 a year, which should indeed be able to handle “demand” for somewhere between 60,000 and 70,000 abortions a year.

This, of course, assumes that demand remains constant. Tomorrow we see that the data actually indicates otherwise: the number of abortions is decreasing nationwide as well as in Texas.

[1] Courts blocked, reinstituted that provision, then blocked it again.

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Wisconsin Attorney General will appeal decision striking down state’s admitting privileges law

WUMW, Milwaukee’s public radio station, reported this morning that, as expected, Attorney General Brad Schimel will file an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court by today’s deadline asking the justices to review a state law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital in case of emergencies.

As NRL News Today reported, on November 23, Wisconsin’s Act 37 was stricken by a divided panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, 2-1.

Judge Richard Posner, in a 30-page decision written on behalf of himself and Judge David Hamilton, wrote, “What makes no sense is to abridge the constitutional right to an abortion on the basis of spurious contentions regarding women’s health — and the abridgment challenged in this case would actually endanger women’s health.”

By contrast, Judge Daniel Manion wrote a 25-page dissent that honed in on the weaknesses on Posner’s (and other judges’) attack on the admitting privileges requirement.

Judge Daniel Manion

(left) Judge Daniel Manion

On March 3, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging portions of Texas’ HB 2, the 2013 omnibus pro-life law. One of those provisions is a similar admitting privileges requirement. (The other is that abortion clinics meet the same building standards as ambulatory surgical centers. Those provisions of H.B. 2 had been upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.)

Judge Manion’s dissent was thoughtful and complete. In his concluding paragraph, he adroitly summarized the case against the law’s critics:

I regret that today’s decision marks the latest chapter in our circuit’s continued misapplication of the Supreme Court’s abortion jurisprudence. By a majority of one, the court has eliminated a measure that Wisconsin’s elected officials have enacted to protect the health and safety of women who choose to incur an abortion. There is no question that Wisconsin’s admitting-privileges requirement furthers the legitimate, rational basis of protecting women’s health and welfare. Among other benefits, the requirement promotes continuity of care and helps to ensure that abortionists are properly credentialed and qualified. It also works in tandem with Wisconsin’s ultrasound requirement to facilitate informed decision-making on the parts of doctor and patient alike. Nor is there any indication that the requirement would pose a substantial obstacle to women’s ability to access abortion providers in their area. As Planned Parenthood’s successful applications for admitting privileges demonstrate, the hospitals of Wisconsin are perfectly willing to grant admitting privileges to qualified physicians who perform abortions in their state. Because Wisconsin’s admitting-privileges requirement has the rational basis of promoting the health and safety of pregnant women who have decided to incur an abortion, and because it does not impose an undue burden under [the 1992 Supreme Court case of] Casey, I dissent.

Act 37 became law in June 2013. The admitting privileges provision was challenged in federal court by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, Affiliated Medical Services, and the ACLU of Wisconsin the following month.

The law also provided that women seeking abortions obtain an ultrasound. That provision was never challenged in court and remains in effect.

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Editor’s note: More information on Wisconsin’s Act 37 and Wisconsin Right to Life’s role in its passage, visit this page: http://wrtl.org/legislationelections/right-to-life-laws-passed/ and scroll down to “2013 – Act 37 – Sonya’s Law”

This article originally appeared at the National Right to Life News page, here:
http://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2016/03/wisconsin-ag-will-appeal-decision-striking-down-states-admitting-privileges-law#.VvK71PkrJQI 

 

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It’s Time to Pass the Fetal Tissue Bill

     

     Wisconsin has a pro-life State Senate, State Assembly, and Governor. They have protected life before, with the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, Sonya’s Law, the Coercive and Web Cam Abortion Prevention Act, and other important pieces of pro-life legislation that were all made into law. And now, Wisconsin’s legislative majorities and governor can prohibit the sale or use of body parts of aborted unborn babies for research with AB 305/SB 260.

     What our leaders in state government need right now is encouragement – maybe even a nudge – to move forward with the fetal tissue bill. The reality is, very powerful and moneyed interests who profit off of fetal tissue are pressuring our leaders to back off of a bill that honestly puts a fairly meager limit on the abortion industry, and a very reasonable ethical limit on our research industry. While every day, unborn children are torn apart limb from limb at abortion facilities, all that the fetal tissue bill asks for is that these children’s organs are not peddled for profit. We should not add to Planned Parenthood’s profit margin by embedding the need for abortion into our research industry in Wisconsin. And our research industry can do better in a state where we know ethical alternatives to abortion-derived tissue exist.

     Our leaders understand that unborn children cannot be used as a means to an end. They know we have an opportunity here in Wisconsin to lead the nation with a research industry that can truly heal without harm. And they know that we cannot incentivize abortion by fueling an unethical and so-called “need” for fetal tissue.

     That’s why our legislators need a push to make sure this bill passes before this legislative session ends. We need them to stand up in caucus, to ask for a vote, and get this to the Governor’s desk. Please, give them a call, encourage them to get this fetal tissue bill done, and even come to Madison for the Rally for Life on Jan. 12th.

 

This article was originally posted in Right Wisconsin

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Rally for Life!

TIME CHANGE!

Who: All pro-life Wisconsin citizens! – Sponsored by Pro-Life Wisconsin, Wisconsin Family Action, Wisconsin Right to Life

What: (PLEASE NOTE TIME CHANGE!)
12 noon – 1:00 p.m. – Rally outside at King Street Entrance to State Capitol.
Pro-life leaders and authors of AB 305/SB 260, AB 310/SB 237, and AB 311/SB 238, as available, will speak.

1:00 p.m.- 2:00 p.m. – Visit legislative offices urging legislators to put the bills on the floor.

When: Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, 12 noon – 2 p.m. (TIME CHANGE)

Where: King Street Entrance to the State Capitol, Madison, WI

Why: There are three strong pro-life bills in our state legislature that need to pass before this legislative session ends.

  • Assembly Bill 305/Senate Bill 260 bans the sale and use of the body parts of aborted babies in Wisconsin.
  • Assembly Bill 310/Senate Bill 237 redirects money from the federal Title X grant program away from Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.
  • Assembly Bill 311/Senate Bill 238 prohibits family-planning organizations, including Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, from overbilling the state for drugs they purchase and dispense through a Medicaid program.

Media Contacts:
Matt Sande, Pro-Life Wisconsin – msande@prolifewisconsin.org – 262-352-0890
Julaine Appling, Wisconsin Family Action – jkappling@wifamilyaction.org – 608-334-6435
Heather Weininger, Wisconsin Right to Life – hweininger@wrtl.org – 414-778-5780

Learn more about the three bills

Contact your legislators!

 

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It’s Been a Great Year – Let’s Thank Our Legislators!

It takes a lot to change the culture for life, whether by activism, volunteering, giving, or legislative action. That’s why, looking over this past year, we as a pro-life movement have accomplished much, especially in the legislative arena.

This past year we had some big legislative priorities – and thanks to the leadership of our pro-life legislators on both the federal and state level, they have become a reality. Please, take some time now that the year is wrapping up to thank our right-to-life legislators for all that they have done for life!

Call, email, or write – all are appreciated by our pro-life legislators!

Federal

Who to Thank: U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, Rep. Reid Ribble, Rep. Sean Duffy, Rep. Glenn Grothman (Find your legislators and all contact info here.)

Legislative Victories:

Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act – received a vote in both the U.S. House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate. Although there weren’t sufficient votes in the Senate for the bill to advance, pro-life Sen. Ron Johnson did take a stand with his fellow right-to-life legislators to vote in favor of this bill that protects unborn babies 20-weeks post-fertilization and beyond from painful late-term abortions.

Reconciliation Bill – passed in both the U.S. House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate. Although President Obama has vowed to veto this bill that cuts off $400 million taxpayer dollars from Planned Parenthood and repeals the most odious parts of Obamacare, this bill will blaze a trail that can be followed to victory once we have a pro-life president!

State

Who to Thank: Governor Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, State Senators Rob Cowles, Alberta Darling, Rick Gudex, Sheila Harsdorf, Chris Kapenga, Frank Lasee, Devin LeMahieu, Howard Marklein, Terry Moulton, Stephen Nass, Luther Olsen, Jerry Petrowski, Roger Roth, Duey Stroebel, Tom Tiffany, Leah Vukmir, Van Wanggaard, and State Represenatives Scott Allen, Tyler August, Joan Ballweg, Kathy Bernier, Mark Born, Janel Brandtjen, Ed Brooks, Rob Brooks, Dave Craig, Mary Czaja, Cindi Duchow, James Edming, Bob Gannon, Dave Heaton, Cody Horlacher, Rob Hutton, Andre Jacque, John Jagler, Adam Jarchow, Terry Katsma, Samantha Kerkman, Joel Kitchens, Joel Kleefisch, Dan Knodl, Dean Knudson, Dale Kooyenga, Jesse Kremer, Scott Krug, Mike Kuglitsch, Bob Kulp, Tom Larson, Amy Loudenbeck, John Macco, David Murphy, Jeff Mursau, John Murtha, Lee Nerison, Adam Neylon, Todd Novak, John Nygren, Al Ott, Jim Ott, Kevin Petersen, Warren Petryk, Romaine Quinn, Keith Ripp, Jessie Rodriguez, Mike Rohrkaste, Joe Sanfelippo, Michael Schraa, Ken Skowronski, John Spiros, David Steffen, Jim Steineke, Rob Swearingen, Gary Tauchen, Jeremy Thiesfeldt, Paul Tittl, Travis Tranel, Nancy VanderMeer, Tyler Vorpagel, Tom Weatherston (Find your legislators and all contact info here.)

Legislative Victories:

Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act – thanks to the efforts of our right-to-life State Legislature and Governor, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is now law in Wisconsin! This was Wisconsin Right to Life’s #1 legislative priority this legislative session, and we are especially grateful for authors Sen. Mary Lazich, Rep. Jesse Kremer, Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, and Rep. Joan Ballweg who led the effort to protect pain-capable unborn babies.

Rewrite of Campaign Finance Law to Protect Free Speech – after fighting in court for so long to protect First Amendment principles that previously went unprotected in our state’s campaign finance law, especially when it comes to issue advocacy, we are incredibly happy that our State Legislature worked to ensure that our campaign finance law will be constitutional. Governor Walker just signed this bill into law as Act 117, so that regardless of anyone’s political persuasion, all can participate in public debate and provide information relevant to issues that they care about. (Note: Sen. Cowles did not vote in favor of this bill.)

So-Called “Death With Dignity” Bill Defeated – thanks to our strong right-to-life majorities in both houses of the State Legislature, a bill to legalize physician-assisted suicide did not move forward.

A thank you can make a big difference – so call, email, or write, and ask some friends to join you! 

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Sen. Erpenbach and Rep. Taylor Want to Walk Back Protections for Women and the Unborn

From the Wisconsin Right to Life News Release:

 “Sen. Erpenbach and Rep. Taylor are clearly dissatisfied with the incredible right-to-life legislative gains we have made to inform women about the reality of abortion, and to protect the unborn from painful late-term abortions,” stated Heather Weininger, Executive Director of Wisconsin Right to Life. “Their so-called ‘Patients Reproductive Health Act’ that they introduced today is nothing more than a distraction, as Wisconsin continues to save both mothers and their unborn children from the pain of abortion.”

Since 2011, Wisconsin Right to Life has been on the forefront of major right-to-life legislative victories. From the passage of Sonya’s Law, which gives mothers the opportunity to see their unborn children on an ultrasound before making a life-or-death abortion decision, to the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which protects unborn babies 20 weeks post-fertilization and beyond from painful late-term abortions, major steps have been made to protect the right to life in Wisconsin. In 2014 alone, abortions have decreased by 10%, demonstrating how effective Wisconsin’s right-to-life legislation is in helping women and their unborn children.

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