According to a release, Representative David Craig (R-Town of Vernon) and his colleagues, Representatives Joel Kleefisch, Joe Knilans, André Jacque and Evan Wynn introduced a ban on “partial-birth” abortions.
The bill would prohibit partial-birth abortions in Wisconsin, making the performance of the procedure a Class I felony. While Congress has enacted a federal prohibition on partial-birth abortions, state law enforcement have no mechanism under which to enforce that ban, making it necessary for individual states to enact bans on their own, according to Craig.
In the procedure, a doctor partially delivers a baby 20-26 weeks of gestation—or later—using one of several methods to also collapse its head and evacuate the rest of the body. The procedure is also known as intact dilation and evacuation (D&E) and typically takes 2-3 days to complete.
“The difference between a partial-birth abortion and infanticide is mere semantics,” Craig said. “Plainly stated, our state has an obligation to protect human life. This measure will ensure that Wisconsin prosecutors have the tools they need to do so.”
Wisconsin’s current partial-birth abortion ban was blocked by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2001. Craig went on to say that it is necessary to enact a new ban at the state level in the event a liberal-controlled Congress ever rescinds the federal ban and to ensure that Wisconsin’s Attorney General and district attorneys can prosecute the crime instead of relying on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to prosecute violations in Wisconsin.
Stephanie Wilson, in Media Relations with Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, said the organization has not yet been focused on responding to this legislation, opting this week on cuts to the Well Woman program.