The head of the University of Wisconsin’s medical school is speaking out against a bill that would ban UW employees from using private clinics to train medical residents or from performing abortions at non-hospital facilities.
The legislation targets an agreement between the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health and Planned Parenthood, which allows UW faculty to train students at the organization’s clinics. Dean Robert Golden testified at a Capitol hearing Tuesday that the deal helps them to comply with a law that prevents taxpayer resources from being used to fund abortions, while also maintaining the accreditation needed for its OB-GYN program.
“This bill would be fatal to the OB-GYN residency training program,” Golden warned. “No graduating medical student would ever be interested in training in an unaccredited residency program.”
Supporters of the bill argued the arrangement goes against the spirit of the law and also disputed claims that it would end the program. State Senator Leah Vukmir, a co-sponsor of the bill and chair of the committee that held the hearing, said it would simply keep taxpayers from “subsidizing the devastating industry to kill babies at Planned Parenthood.”
Golden argued the bill will not stop abortions from happening though – it will just weaken a program that’s already badly needed to address a shortage of OB-GYN practitioners in communities across the state. “I truly believe this will have no impact on the number of abortions that are provided in our state,” he said. “There will be other fully trained doctors who will step up to the plate.”