Governor Scott Walker is not offering much support for a bill that would restrict research in the state that uses tissue from aborted fetuses.
Lawmakers held a hearing on an Assembly bill that week that would ban the sale of tissue taken from aborted fetuses and place restrictions on its use in medical research. Similar proposals have been brought forward and rejected in previous sessions, but the current version has gained new support amid the release of videos by an anti-abortion group. The secretly recorded video claim to show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of remains taken from aborted fetuses with people posing as buyers.
Planned Parenthood has disputed the claims, arguing that officials were actually discussing reimbursement costs for collecting donated tissue. State officials have also pointed out that none of Planned Parenthood’s Wisconsin clinics collect fetal tissue donations.
Asked about the legislation during a stop at the State Fair on Wednesday, Walker said his “primary focus” is on preventing the sale of remains from aborted fetuses. The governor was non-committal about whether he would sign the current proposal if it reaches his desk though. “What we want is a law that will stop what happened on the videos, and we’ll certainly watch throughout the process as to how they get something like that to us.”
AUDIO: Gov. Scott Walker on fetal tissue research ban (:37)
UW-Madison and private sector officials told lawmakers this week that a ban on using fetal tissue could jeopardize millions of dollars in research that’s being done in the state. Similar concerns have derailed previous attempts to pass similar legislation.
Walker is not alone in showing some hesitancy about the bill. Republican leaders in the state Senate have also indicated they have concerns.