MADISON, WI, January 30, 2009 ( – Members of a pro-life coalition announced at a press conference in Madison earlier this week that over 20,000 signatures have been collected from citizens around the state who are opposed to a plan that would result in late second-trimester abortions at the UW-affiliated Madison Surgery Center.

“Wisconsin citizens aren’t interested in a UW-affiliated abortion facility, and they are speaking loudly and quickly on this issue,” said Julaine Appling, CEO of Wisconsin Family Council (WFC).

The Center is a joint venture of UW Hospital and Clinics, Meriter Hospital and the UW Medical Foundation. Lisa Brunette, Director of Media Relations at the UW Hospital, justified the late-term abortion plan, saying, “If these services are not available in Madison, patients will need to go a long distance and at great expenses in order to obtain them.”

She said that some UW physicians, “feel that we are not upholding our responsibility to the community.”

The coalition against the late-term abortion venture includes Wisconsin Family Council, Wisconsin Right To Life, Pro-Life Wisconsin, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Madison, Christian Life Resources, Vigil for Life, Wisconsin Guild of the Catholic Medical Association, and the Christian Medical and Dental Association.

Julaine Appling of WFC said at the press conference, “We believe a strong Wisconsin comes by preserving and strengthening marriage, family, life and liberty. When government or major institutions determine that human life in its pre-born condition is a disposable commodity, all of us—and our state in general—are severely weakened and impoverished.”

“Signed petitions are still coming into our office,” noted Appling. “We collected these signatures in less than two weeks. It’s obvious that the people of this state want to send a clear message that such a plan will not happen on their watch without significant opposition to this plot against unborn babies.”