Senate President Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) is a main sponsor of the so-called Pain Prevention Act. She said fetuses feel pain at 20 weeks gestation, and Republicans want to prevent that. “All of the sensory receptors, the spinal cord, the nerves are all developed at 20 weeks and the baby feels pain. So what this is, is to prevent the babies from feeling pain. So it’s a pain prevention bill.”
Those who oppose the ban believe it would jeopardize women’s health. Lisa Boyce with Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin said abortions later in pregnancy is an extremely rare occurrence. “The individuals who are behind this bill are the same individuals who are opposed to women’s access to birth control and abortion at every stage from the first week on, so,” Boyce said, “this clearly is a concerted effort to end women’s access to reproductive care.”
Lazich said there is a medical emergency provision in the bill. Though, there’s no exception for rape, incest, or serious fetal deformity.
Representative Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) is another lead sponsor of the proposal. “I believe we have a duty and a moral obligation to protect these children from the horrific procedures used to snuff out their lives,” he said in a statement.
Mike Murray is with Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health, who opposes the plan. “It’s an unnecessary and dangerous intrusion on the doctor-patient relationship between women and their doctors.” He said, “It’s a very ill-conceived idea for lawmakers to insert themselves into very personal and often difficult medical decisions that women need to be making with their doctors and their own families.”
Governor Scott Walker said he would sign the bill. “I’m pro-life; and whether you’re pro-life or not, after five months when an unborn child can feel pain,” he told reporters in Milwaukee on Thursday, “I think pro-life or not, majority of people believe that that’s a realistic requirement.”
Doctors who violate the measure would be penalized. Mothers would not.
In 2013, there were 86 abortions reported to have taken place after 20 weeks.