QUORUM CALL

The remaining GOP-backed abortion-related bills passed the state Assembly this afternoon without any Democratic support.

The three bills’ passage came after the chamber voted to approve legislation to require care for those who survive an abortion. All of the bills passed with almost complete Republican support, though GOP Rep. Chuck Wichgers, of Muskego, joined Dems to oppose them.

The GOP bills include measures to: bar Planned Parenthood from getting money under the Medical Assistance program; ban abortions on the basis of a fetus’ race, gender and other qualifiers; and require physicians to tell women considering taking an abortion-inducing drug the process could be reversed.

Republicans on the floor gave impassioned support for the bills, particularly AB 182, which would ban abortions solely because of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex or due to a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome or another congenital disability.

Bill author Rep. Barbara Dittrich, of Oconomowoc, warned her colleagues that they came off as hypocritical “when we fight for vulnerable populations (while) telling them at the same time they never should have been born.”

“My fellow members, we cannot say we are advocates for the disabled, for minorities, for women while we also champion their extermination in the womb,” she said.

The legislation is broader than a 2013 bill that would have banned sex-selective abortions. That session, it cleared the Assembly but died in the Senate.

Meanwhile, Dems continued pushing for accepting the federal Medicaid expansion dollars and moves to improve the health care of mothers and babies.

Rep. Lisa Subeck also argued the bills were the latest in a pattern of Republicans putting “politics before women’s health care.”

“These bills do nothing more than interfere with access to care,” the Madison Dem said.

The bills now head to the state Senate, and the chamber is expected to take them up in June.

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