Over the last four years, the fight to protect innocent life has become more intense, with states across the country passing 200 abortion-restricting laws. In particular, laws focused specifically on late-term abortions have gained traction since 2010, when the first 20-week abortion ban was passed. Since then, thirteen states have outlawed abortions after 20 weeks, and the movement continues as the U.S. House of Representatives approved a late-term abortion ban earlier this month, and legislatures in Wisconsin and South Carolina are considering similar measures.
Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR) reports that Wisconsin Republicans are seeking to “fast-track” a proposal to ban abortions after 20 weeks, citing evidence that fetuses feel pain during late-term abortions.
According to WPR, a joint hearing is scheduled before Assembly and Senate health committees for early next week, as the bill’s sponsors are hoping to pass it before debate on the state budget begins in June.
The bill is likely to have little issue passing with a Republican majority at the state Capitol, and Governor Scott Walker has already stated he would sign the bill into law upon passage.
“After 5 months, when an unborn child can feel pain, when there’s an inherent risk in terms of procedure, I think pro-life or not, I think the majority of people believe that’s a realistic requirement going forward. And I hope it’s something the Legislature passes,” said Walker.
The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports the bill does not include exemptions for victims of rape or incest, or for fatal fetal anomalies. The bill makes exceptions in instances when the life of the mother is in immediate danger.
State Representative Jess Kremer, a co-sponsor of the bill, states that in cases of the baby being born with a life-threatening medical problem, the state would provide information regarding “perinatal hospice” care for the child and the mother through the birth and eventual death of the child.