Hearing set on three Wisconsin bills with connection to abortion issue

From the Committee on Health for the Wisconsin Assembly.

Today, the Committee on Health for the Wisconsin Assembly will hold a public hearing on three different bills that have been introduced in April and May of this legislative session.

Assembly Bill 120

Under this bill, a statement by a health care provider that “expresses apology, benevolence, compassion, condolence, fault, liability, remorse, responsibility, or sympathy to a patient or patient’s relative or representative” is not allowed to be introduced as evidence of liability. While this is the one bill of the three to be discussed that does not directly relate to abortion, any such statements made by an abortion provider would be prevented from being used as evidence under this bill.

Assembly Bill 216

If passed, this bill would prohibit the Group Insurance Board, which provides health insurance contracts to state employees and local government employees (if the local government decides), “from entering into any contract with respect to a group health insurance plan or providing a group health insurance plan on a self-insured basis that provides abortion services, with certain exceptions.” The bill goes on to exempt religious employers, religious organizations, and higher education religious institutions from being required to provide contraceptives as part of health insurance if certain criteria are met.

Assembly Bill 217

Under this bill, if an unborn child is aborted for sex-selective reasons, that unborn child’s mother, father, or grandparent will be able to sue the person who performed the abortion. Damages recoverable under the bill include compensatory civil damages, exemplary damages of $10,000, and attorney fees. The mother, father, or grandparent may then ask for injunctive relief, asking the court to stop the individual from performing additional sex-selective abortions. Violating this court-ordered injunction carries with it a fine of $10,000 for the first violation, $50,000 for the second, and $100,000 for each additional violation.

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