Every day we're becoming Wississippi. Soon we'll have Mississippi style anti-abortion laws and a Virginia style ultrasound law.
Several bills are quickly making their way through the Republican dominated Wisconsin State Legislature which will restrict or eliminate abortion rights. Republicans have already stripped funding from Planned Parenthood despite the fact that the vast majority of services they provide are for general women's health care like cancer screenings.
An abortion clinic in Appleton — one of four in the state — could shut down under a bill likely coming before the Senate on Tuesday that mandates admitting privileges for abortion clinic doctors at nearby hospitals.Aside from requiring the Mississippi-style admitting priviledges, the bill also mandates a Virginia style ultrasound before an abortion.
The bill is one several abortion measures moving quickly through the state Legislature this week.
Planned Parenthood's Nicole Safar says that physicians won't be able to obtain those priviledges, even if granted by nearby hospitals, in the time frame Republicans are following to ram the bill through and enact it into law. She believes that their Appleton facility will need to close leaving only 3 others in the entire state. Planned Parenthood operates 2 other clinics, one in Milwaukee and the other in Madison with another facility in Milwaukee operated by Affiiated Medical Services.
Patients in northern and western Wisconsin who require abortions currently need to drive for several hours to reach an abortion clinic. The closure of the Appleton clinic would force those in the northeastern part of the state to travel even further to either Madison in south central Wisconsin or Milwaukee in southeastern Wisconsin.
Admitting privilege requirements have threatened to shutter abortion clinics in other states. In Mississippi, the state's only abortion clinic may have to close because of a law similar to what is being proposed in Wisconsin. A job ad in large bold type is featured on the Jackson (Miss.) Women's Health Organization's website asking for physicians with admitting privileges to apply. In September, the clinic applied to about seven nearby hospitals but was rejected by all of them.Yes, that law is coming here, too.
"The law is unfair; it was done just to close us down," said Betty Thompson, who is a counselor at the Mississippi clinic. The clinic is still open because the law is being appealed in the courts.
Republicans did amend the bill to remove the requirement for a transvaginal ultrasound despite severe opposition by Republican State Senate Right to Lifers (i.e. pro-birth, then you're on your own, kiddo) who claimed that an abdominal ultrasound may not show the fetal heartbeat in a very early pregnancy. The ultrasound bill is named Sonyas Law after a woman says that having an ultrasound and "seeing" the fetal heart beat made her change her mind about having an abortion.
Hmmmm, I don't like the union busting Republicans have been doing. Perhaps I'll have someone write a bill for Puddytats Law which will mandate labor unions in every workplace in Wisconsin. After all, if Sonyas "experience", even if this is a true story and she even exists, can create legislation, how about an old, mangy Puddytat doing the same?
Of course the forced birth Republicans are beating their chests about this on RW media here in the state for the GOP loving crowd. For the rest of the unwashed masses, they're crowing about how they're only concerned about "womens health and safety" and that those who have become pregnant through rape or incest (as long as it was promptly reported to police) won't have to suffer the expense and indignity of the new ultrasound requirement.
Don't expect too many people in Wisconsin to know about these fast-tracked bills anytime soon. I found out about these things on a RW radio site (I look so you don't have to) and the Journal Sentinel article may have been online only (buried deeply in the "politics" section - I found it only through a search). Yup, our media, on the job promoting the GOP and hiding their extremism.
Planned Parenthood is holding a rally in Madison over the legislation rapidly moving through the State Legislature. I will be surprised if there's any local or statewide coverage.
Addendum: I was a new nurse in the days before Roe vs. Wade made abortion legal (and safe). I've seen women die from septic abortion. I remember the times when septic abortion was among the top 5 causes of death of women. I WILL NOT RETURN TO THOSE DAYS. NO MORE BACK ALLEY ABORTIONS. NO MORE COAT HANGERS.