One way of ending safe abortion is taking away medical professionals’ knowledge to perform them. A Republican bill proposed by the state senate in Wisconsin aims to do just that.
The bill, proposed by Republican Senator Andre Jacque, would ban the Unversity of Wisconsin from allowing new doctors to receive training in how to safely perform abortions outside of a hospital setting. Though it’s already illegal in Wisconsin for any public money to be used on abortion services, the procedure isn’t banned outright.
Currently, OB-GYN medical students must learn to perform the procedure in non-hospital settings like Planned Parenthood in order to receive OB-GYN accreditation (though they can opt out for religious reasons). Because of this requirement, UW medical school and Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin have an arrangement where UW physicians are paid by Planned Parenthood to perform abortions and train OB-GYN residents in how to perform abortions at its Madison clinic.
“(Jacque) is trying to sever that relationship between UW and Planned Parenthood. (But) the impact will be overall access to OB-GYNs, said Nicole Safar, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin at a public hearing for the bill on Tuesday. “The intent Andre Jacque has for this bill is not at all the impact it will have in the real world.”
Currently, the state is already facing a shortage of OB-GYNs and, according to some experts, this law would worsen the state’s record for women’s reproductive health coverage.
Jacque doesn’t think this will cause the University to lose its national accreditation, but he does say he wants the state to “get out of the abortion business.”
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal, 20 of the state’s 72 counties are already lacking an OBGYN, and reducing the ability for doctors to receive this training will make that number even higher. Robert Golden, the dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, explained to the Journal-Sentinal that this training is mandatory for both students and the college to maintain its national accreditation for OBGYNs. If they can’t receive the training they need to be certified, the bill will be leaving the state with even fewer doctors able to provide maternal care and women’s reproductive health.
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(h/t Refinery29; photos via Getty)