Pro-Life Wisconsin declared victory yesterday. After constant pressure, protests, and prayer vigils, it seemed that they had won a huge coup: a plan to provide late term abortion services at a University of Wisconsin, Madison clinic had allegedly been scrapped.
Abortion foes heralded the news Wednesday that the University of Wisconsin has apparently dropped plans to provide late-term abortions at a Madison clinic.
The news was first made public by the Alliance Defense Fund, which released a letter dated Friday from the state attorney general’s office saying the university had abandoned its plans for the clinic.
The letter, also provided to The Associated Press by the Department of Justice, was sent to an Eau Claire woman who had asked for an investigation into whether providing abortions at the Madison Surgery Center was legal.
The University was attempting to add a provider to replace the sole provider it would be losing to retirement.
The UW Hospitals and Clinics Authority Board last year approved the plan to provide abortions for women 19 to 22 weeks pregnant. The UW Hospital, UW Medical Foundation and Meriter Hospital proposed the plan in the wake of the retirement of a Madison abortion doctor because it left the Madison area without a provider who would perform abortions after 18 weeks.
Supporters argued that the abortions are needed for a number of reasons, including rape and fetal abnormalities. The clinic had been expected to perform about 120 abortions a year.
Opponents, including ADF, argued the procedures were not necessary and were immoral.
Anti-abortion activists oppose second-trimester abortions because fetuses develop rapidly during that time. They may flex their arms, kick their legs, make facial expressions and hear sounds during the second trimester, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The ADF, an Arizona-based Christian group that advocates for religious freedom, also said the university’s plan might violate a state law that prohibits state or federal money from being used to pay doctors or clinics to perform abortions.
Pro-life Wisconsin speaks in dramatic terms about their “win.”
Peggy Hamill, state director of Brookfield-based Pro-Life Wisconsin, called off that boycott Wednesday, proclaiming victory in the fight to block the abortions at the center.
“Pro-Life Wisconsin appreciated every day the abortions did not take place there as a victory for God,” she said.
The group now will shift and consolidate its protests outside of Planned Parenthood, 3706 Orin Road, off of North Stoughton Road on the Far East Side.
Hamill said she will participate in a prayer vigil Friday morning outside the Madison Surgery Center. “The focus of the prayers will change from an end of the plans to prayers of thanksgiving.”
But, was there really any win to crow about? First, it appears that the rumors of the shut down of the provider plans may be just that…rumors.
The Attorney General’s Office is claiming that the UW has abandoned its plans to offer second-trimester abortions at the Madison Surgery Center.
But UW Health issued a statement late Wednesday denying it had dropped its plans.
“UW Health remains strongly committed to a comprehensive women’s reproductive health service that includes this important procedure,” the statement said.
The statement was vague though on when or where this procedure would be offered. “All of our clinical programs are designed and implemented to best serve the needs of our patients. Because of the sensitive nature of this clinical program, we do not consider it in the best interests of our patients to discuss the timing or location of these services. We remain steadfast in our commitment to ensure that area women have access to a comprehensive women’s health program.”
But that won’t stop Pro-Life Wisconsin from saying they won, anyway.
The group late Wednesday continued to declare victory. “The UW statement does not specifically deny they are dropping plans to do abortions at the MSC. This statement doesn’t define anything.”
Regardless of what is or isn’t going to occur, it’s a good time to think of what “victory” really means here. The clinics intent was to perform abortions that would have occured in the weeks shortly after a woman has her fetal abnormality scan. In other words, it was most often likely to provide abortions to women who discovered that their wanted babies had genetic defects that made them often too sick to survive outside the womb.
If anti-choice activists had their way, all they want to accomplish with closing this clinic would be forcing women to carry to term babies that they wanted but would not live for long after birth, if they even made it to term. Or to force these women to travel far from their homes to have the pregnancy terminated should they choose to do so without a closer provider.
Pro-Life Wisconsin considers forcing another 120 women a year to have to carry wanted, loved, but unviable babies to be “victory for God.”
My God has much more compassion than that.
May 5, 2010
Tories accused of culture of intimidation – Toronto Star
Missouri House committee advances abortion legislation – Columbia Missourian
Abortion and Poverty. – Tapped
House Republican Leader Boehner to Receive Henry J. Hyde Defender of Life … – Christian News Wire
Florida Senator Caught Looking At Porn During Abortion Debate – Hip-Hop Wired
Has the recession affected abortion? – Washington Post
Weekly Pulse: FACE the Facts – Campus Progress
No other country has slapped a blanket ban on abortion – Daily Nation
Should PM’s critics shut up about maternal health? – Globe and Mail
Adam Stirling Comment – C-FAX 1070
Justice Stevens: push for nominees’ views improper – The Associated Press
Two new abortion bills become law, but one is being challenged by a … – Oklahoma Gazette
Kan. Senate Fails To Override Abortion Veto – KMBC Kansas City
Marshall Will Face Runoff in NC, Brunner Loses OH Primary – Ms. Magazine
Girl in Foster Care May Have Had Forced Abortion – CitizenLink
Women??? They Have rights ??? Not in Stephen Harper’s eyes … – Political Cortex
Kansas Senate Fails to Override Abortion-Bill Veto – Wall Street Journal
Luksik stresses abortion stance – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Abortion law goes into effect – Chattanooga Times Free Press
Crist feeling the pressure on abortion bill – MiamiHerald.com
Group claims victory in UW abortion fight – Wisconsin Radio Network
Young teens wait on more Obama care – Prevention Action
Judicial bypass works – Philadelphia Daily News
‘The Pill’ Changed The Sexual Landscape – Hartford Courant
Birth control breeds out Western culture – BCLocalNews
The Catholic Contraceptive Pill – Huffington Post
India’s Top Birth Control: Still Sterilization – Wall Street Journal
Misogyny and the culture war – Toronto Star
Pill at 50 still gets hot flashes of debate – Washington Times
1 Chinese baby born with syphilis every hour – msnbc.com
Scientists Unravel Secret of HIV Resistance – BusinessWeek
Pregnant women bear brunt of domestic abuse – Daily Nation
On Mother’s Day: Let’s Be United for Motherhood – Huffington Post
Today is the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy – Modern Mom
May 6, 2010
Pro-life groups push for BC hospitals to release abortion statistics – Winnipeg Free Press
Silence protect predators – Homer News
Pa. tries to shut W. Phila. abortion clinic – Philadelphia Inquirer
Despite conflicting account, UW says late-term abortions still a go – UW Badger Herald
U.S. Senator seen viewing porn during abortion debate – Edmonton Journal
Abortion law gives women a second chance – St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Madison Surgery Center apparently drops late-term abortion plans – Wisconsin State Journal
Senator caught looking at porn during abortion bill – First Post
Pill: women’s long search for sure contraception – Independent
Family planning programs save taxpayers’ money – Vineland Daily Journal
Scientists Make Strides Toward AIDS Vaccine – Voice of America
Midwives’ services in high demand – Regina Leader-Post
Zimbabwe: 78 Percent Midwives Posts Vacant, Says UNFPA – AllAfrica.com
DOH celebrates ‘Safe Motherhood Week 2010′ – Philippine Information Agency