Monday, May 21, 2018
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“[A] personhood measure could criminalize certain forms of birth control”

MADISON — In case you missed it, Republican Party of Wisconsin-endorsed U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir and her primary opponent Kevin Nicholson have wholly embraced hardline restrictions on women’s health care options, backing a zero-exception ban on all abortions — including in cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother — and endorsing a “personhood” measure that “could criminalize certain forms of birth control.”

Via the Wisconsin State Journal:

Wisconsin’s top Republican U.S. Senate candidates, Kevin Nicholson and Leah Vukmir, told an advocacy group they support banning abortion with no exceptions and new restrictions on stem cell research.

Nicholson and Vukmir also told the group Pro-Life Wisconsin that they favor a federal “personhood” law, a controversial measure that some experts say could criminalize certain forms of birth control.

Vukmir, the assistant majority leader in the state Senate, long has been known as one of its most anti-abortion-rights members. She got the endorsement of Pro-Life Wisconsin during a past campaign for the Legislature, where she has voted for a host of anti-abortion bills including Wisconsin’s 20-week abortion ban.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is among the groups that say a personhood measure could criminalize certain forms of birth control.

Alta Charo, a professor with expertise in law and bioethics at UW-Madison, said the same. Charo, who served on former President Barack Obama’s transition team, said certain infertility treatments such as in-vitro fertilization also could be affected.

Charo said the stem cell restrictions for which the candidates pledged support could “hinder research on everything from cancer to infertility.”

“In addition, it would put an end to a signature area of (UW-Madison) research renown. Even Tommy Thompson, who opposed most reproductive rights, supported embryonic stem cell research,” Charo said of the Republican former governor of Wisconsin.

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