MADISON, Wisconsin, June 10, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a huge victory for pro-lifers in Wisconsin, the state’s Joint Finance Committee passed a motion that will effectively ensure no late-term abortions will be performed at the University of Wisconsin and associated hospitals.
On June 3 the Committee approved a motion to prohibit the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority Board (UWHCA) from paying physicians and surgeons and funding hospitals and clinics for abortions, except as specified in Wisconsin’s current abortion funding law.
The budget motion was made by Senator Glenn Grothman and Representative Dan LeMahieu and passed on a 12-4 vote.
The motion marks a great triumph for local pro-lifers who have fought a long battle with the hospitals to prohibit late-term abortion funding and training.
“Wisconsin Right to Life is deeply appreciative to the Joint Finance Committee for insuring that no UW funds will be used for the performance of abortions in any UW facility,” said Susan Armacost, Legislative Director of Wisconsin Right to Life.
The abortion battle dates back to February 2009, when the Madison Surgery Center board voted to allow late-term abortions at the facility. Madison Surgery Center is a joint partnership between Meriter Hospital, the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and the University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation.
Documents obtained in early 2010 by the Alliance Defense Fund and Pro-Life Wisconsin proved the late-term abortion scheme by the hospital was designed to supply the school with fresh fetal body parts for research.
According to Pro-Life Wisconsin Legislative Director Matt Sande, the documents indicated that since 2007 more than $58,0000 of University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority (UWHCA) funds were “used to train future abortionists” at the Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin abortion facility.
“The UWHCA pays medical residents in the UW School of Medicine OB/Gyn Department for two four-week rotations at Planned Parenthood, where they view and perform abortions,” Sande said.
Since the late-term abortion plan was announced in January 2009, Pro-Life Wisconsin has held countless prayer vigils, attended by thousands; aired hundreds of pro-life television commercials in the Madison area; tens of thousands of people signed a pro-life petition; and hundreds boycotted the Madison Surgery Center.
In December 2010, the UW Hospital, the UW Medical Foundation, and Meriter Hospital decided to stop offering second trimester abortions at the Madison Surgery Center and not to seek an alternative site.
Although the motion passed Friday by the Joint Finance Committee is not yet law, it will prohibit any future attempts by the UW Hospitals to fund medical students in abortion procedure training, as well as establishing any future late-term abortion plans.
“We remember only too well the brazen attempts of UW a couple of years ago to set up a late-term abortion facility at the Madison Surgery Center. It was only because a huge outcry by the public and many employees of the Madison Surgery Center that UW finally backed down and nixed the deadly project,” said Armacost of Wisconsin Right to Life.
“The motion passed on June 3 means that the UW Hospitals and Clinics Authority Board will no longer be able to plot behind the scenes to find ways to use taxpayer dollars to pay doctors and facilities to perform abortions.”