Pro-Life Wisconsin 2015-2016 Legislative Agenda
Auditing Planned Parenthood and all Medicaid family planning providers
Following an open records request of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI), Pro-Life Wisconsin, working with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys, revealed 26 Department of Health Services (DHS) audits uncovering $43,000 in Medicaid overbilling by PPWI. However, these audits were very limited in scope in terms of location, time frame, and type of claims. And all but the last audit were conducted and released under former Gov. Jim Doyle, a pro-abortion Democrat. As reported by ADF, a growing number of federal and state audits have documented that waste, fraud, and abuse by state family planning agencies have resulted in losses to the American taxpayer of more than $115 million. Forty-four state audits in 9 states found overpayments of over $8 million to Planned Parenthood affiliates. It is bad enough that family planning monies fuel surgical and chemical abortions in our state. It is intolerable that Wisconsin taxpayers are ripped off in the process. Family planning providers must be held accountable for their expenditure of taxpayer dollars through comprehensive audits of their entire clinic networks. Pro-Life Wisconsin will urge the Joint Legislative Audit Committee to direct the State Legislative Audit Bureau to conduct a comprehensive, independent audit of Wisconsin's Medicaid family planning providers, including Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.
Banning the sale and use of aborted human fetal body parts
Federal law prohibits the interstate trafficking of human fetal body parts. Wisconsin's intrastate commercial activity must have a similar prohibition so that we can guarantee the highest ethical standards of academic research and medical care in our state. There is documented evidence of the UW-Madison conducting research on human fetal brain and pancreatic tissue. These preborn children did not consent to their abortions and certainly did not consent to experimentation. Rep. Andre Jacque will reintroduce legislation prohibiting the sale and use of human fetal body parts. The bill bans persons from knowingly and for valuable consideration acquiring, receiving, or transferring a fetal body part. It also bans persons from knowingly providing, receiving, or using for experimentation a fetal body part. Fetal body part is defined to mean a cell, tissue, organ, or other part of an unborn child who is aborted by an induced abortion. University of Wisconsin officials were quick to attack this legislation last session; publicly stating that it will have a "chilling effect" on the biomedical research UW-Madison is currently conducting using aborted fetal tissue. PLW will work to ban the sale and use of aborted fetal body parts.
Blocking the legalization of physician-assisted suicide
Legislation legalizing physician-assisted suicide in Wisconsin has been introduced nearly every legislative session since the early 1990's. Pro-Life Wisconsin strongly opposes this legislation. We must never allow the state to sanction the destruction of the vulnerable disabled, elderly, depressed or other marginalized lives around us. The bill would permit an individual to "request and obtain a prescription for medication so as to end his or her life." It would legalize assisted suicide for people over the age of 18 who have a "terminal disease" and who make an oral and written request to their attending physician for medication to kill themselves. A physician who refuses to participate in the assisted suicide must make a good faith attempt to transfer the patient to another physician whom he or she knows will help kill the patient. If the physician does not make an attempt to transfer, he or she may be charged with "unprofessional conduct." In a stark denial of reality, the bill states that requesting and taking prescribed medication to end your life does not constitute "suicide." PLW will fight any legislation legalizing assisted suicide in our state.
Establishing a "Choose Life" Wisconsin specialty license plate
Beginning with Florida, twenty-nine states have established "Choose Life" license plates funding adoption assistance. Pro-Life Wisconsin would like to see Wisconsin be the 30th state to produce and sell a "Choose Life" license plate. To that end, Rep. Andre Jacque will reintroduce legislation to establish a Choose Life Wisconsin specialty license plate. Wisconsin Family Action and Pro-Life Wisconsin have already set up the bylaws of Choose Life Wisconsin, Inc. which will disburse the proceeds from the sale of the plates to pregnancy care centers. In addition to the regular vehicle registration fee, those who purchase the plate are required to pay a $15 fee for issuance or reissuance of the special plates and a $25 annual fee that provides funds to Choose Life Wisconsin. PLW will work to pass legislation to establish a Choose Life Wisconsin license plate to facilitate and encourage adoption as a positive choice for women with unplanned pregnancies.
Protecting the conscience rights of all health care providers, institutions, and payers
The last several years have seen Wisconsin abortion advocates launch an all-out assault on the conscience rights of hospitals, pharmacies, health insurers and individual health care providers. Laws were enacted that 1) force all Wisconsin hospitals to provide the morning-after pill to alleged victims of sexual assault immediately upon their request, 2) force all Wisconsin pharmacies to dispense prescribed contraceptive drugs or devices "without delay," and 3) force Wisconsin private and public health insurers to cover contraceptive drugs and devices. The abortion lobby understands that if they can force medical professionals to violate their consciences regarding contraceptives, they can extend that legal precedent to coerce medical students to participate in abortion training and coerce doctors to provide surgical abortions. These onerous laws violate the federal constitutional guarantee of free exercise of religion and the state constitutional guarantee of liberty of conscience. It is time the Wisconsin Legislature pass comprehensive conscience rights protections for all health care professionals, health care institutions, and health care payers. PLW will work to pass the Health Care Freedom of Conscience Act.
Banning abortion coverage in state employee health plans
In poll after poll, Americans overwhelmingly say they oppose the inclusion of taxpayer-funded abortion in health care reform legislation. Government must not force us to participate in the killing of our preborn brothers and sisters with our federal and state tax dollars. In 2011, the Wisconsin Legislature passed and Governor Walker signed legislation opting the state of Wisconsin out of abortion coverage in its prospective state health insurance exchange. If private citizens cannot access abortion coverage in the state health exchange, then public employees should not be able access abortion coverage in state health plans. Accordingly, Pro-Life Wisconsin will work to advance legislation that prohibits the state Group Insurance Board (GIB) from covering abortions or abortion services in the health insurance policies of state employees.