One of the authors of a controversial bill banning researchers from using some aborted fetal tissue believes it does have the votes needed to pass in the chamber, despite doubts raised this week by a top Republican in the state Assembly.
Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) on Tuesday said he would not bring the bill to the floor until the sponsors show it has the 50 votes needed to pass. State Representative Andre Jacque (R-De Pere) said Wednesday that he’s confident that support is there, although he does not appear to have confirmation from all members that they would vote in favor of the legislation.
The De Pere Republican noted that 42 members have signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation, and none have asked to be removed. He said several other GOP lawmakers not on that list, which includes some members of leadership, have also publicly voiced support for the measure and he feels “very confident that we’ll be able to demonstrate the support that we need.”
The legislation would ban researchers from using tissue from aborted fetuses that’s been collected since the start of this year. Backers argue it’s needed to prevent the sale of tissue from aborted fetuses. However, University of Wisconsin officials and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the state chamber of commerce, have warned it could harm the state’s biomedical industry.
Vos on Tuesday said the GOP is trying to find some sort of “middle ground” that allows research to continue, but prevents the possible sale of tissue from aborted fetuses.