Lawmakers heard testimony Thursday on a bill that would protect women from being coerced into having an abortion. The measure would prohibit doctors from performing an abortion if they believe the patient is being forced to have the procedure.
State Senator Roger Breske (D-Eland), a co-sponsor of the measure, says the bill requires doctors to inform women about their right not to be forced to have an abortion. It also requires them to make help available to a patient, if they feel she's being forced to have the procedure.
A Capitol hearing on the bill drew emotional testimony from several women who feel they were forced to have an abortion. Robin Willegal (WILL-ah-gul) of Brodhead was among them. She says her husband made her have an abortion after she discovered she was pregnant. The man pushed for the procedure because she'd had an affair and was unsure if the child was his.
Democrats on the panel questioned the need for the bill. State Representative Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) says current state law already requires abortion providers to ask a patient if they're voluntarily consenting to an abortion. He says the legislation could make the requirement to broad. Also, Hintz says there's no evidence to show a change is needed in current state law.
The bill is currently being considered by an Assembly committee.