The state Senate has passed legislation providing “compassionate care” for rape victims. The bill from majority leader Judy Robson would require hospitals to tell rape victims about emergency contraceptives and make the morning after pill available to them. “It's so logical, it should be happening in all hospital emergency rooms,” said Robson. There were numerous statements from senators supporting the bill, including South Milwaukee Democrat Jeff Plale. “I am pro-life, and I am Catholic, and I am strongly supportive of this bill,” Plale said.
No one spoke against the bill, which passed 27-to-6. Juneau Republican Scott Fitzgerald was among the “no” votes. “Ultimately, it's still a question of conception and life,” said Fitzgerald. Also voting against the bill were Republican Senators Glenn Grothman, Dan Kapanke, Neal Kedzie, Mary Lazich and Joe Liebham.
Middleton Democrat John Erpenbach chaired a committee which heard testimony on the bill. He noted only one group opposed the it. Pro Life Wisconsin, said Erpenbach, is “against . . . all forms of contraception.” Fitzgerald cited the group's stance in explaining his vote. “ Pro Life Wisconsin had a little bit different take on it than Right to Life and the Catholic Conference and certainly Planned Parenthood,” said Fitzgerald. The bill requires hospitals inform rape victims of emergency contraceptives and make the morning after pill available to them. Prospects are unclear in the Republican controlled state Assembly.