This past Saturday, June 24, marked the one-year anniversary of the Dobbs decision which overturned Roe v. Wade., sending the issue of abortion back to the states. Following the overturning of Roe, in Wisconsin a pre-Roe law that prohibits doctors from conducting abortions except when deemed necessary for the preservation of the mother’s life went back into effect in Wisconsin. Due to that law, thousands of unborn babies have been spared and given the chance to live. And thousands of women have been spared the trauma of abortion.
Just days after the overturning of Roe, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul filed a lawsuit contesting this law. The case is still in Dane County Circuit Court, but will no doubt eventually reach the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Unfortunately, Wisconsin’s newly elected Supreme Court justice, Janet Protasiewicz, openly supports abortion. Once she assumes office in early August, the Wisconsin Supreme Court will have the liberal majority it needs to deem this life-saving law unconstitutional. For the time being, we should be thankful for every single day this pre-Roe law exists because it saves lives.
In recognition of this one-year anniversary and in support of both babies and parents, Wisconsin Senator Romaine Quinn, along with Assembly Representatives Gae Magnafici, Pat Snyder, Amanda Nedweski, and Donna Rozar has introduced a bill package entitled “Embrace them Both.” The package consists of four bills that seek to not only save the lives of children but also to support mothers and fathers.
The first bill, Senate Bill 343, clarifies the definition of abortion in state statute. According to the bill, medical care to prevent the death of a pregnant woman does not constitute an abortion. Abortion is the intentional killing of an unborn child. Miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, and other unfortunate situations are not abortion. These procedures differ from abortion because they do not intentionally kill an unborn baby.
The second bill, Senate Bill 344, increases the dollar amount taxpayers can claim as an exemption for every dependent, including children ages zero to seventeen, from $700 to $1000. In recognition of the humanity of the pre-born, the bill extends that coverage to unborn children for whom a fetal heartbeat has been detected. This bill supports expecting mothers and fathers by giving them a tax break which will help with the expenses related to the birth of their baby.
The third bill, Senate Bill 345, funds Wisconsin Pregnancy Care Centers with a $1 million annual grant to Choose Life Wisconsin, Inc.. These funds are in turn distributed as grants to the centers. Since 2017, Choose Life Wisconsin has administered the receipt and distribution of funds raised from the sale of the “Choose Life WI” specialty license plates that are available to Wisconsin drivers. Over 2300 of these plates are currently on cars in Wisconsin, and over $275,000 has been granted to over thirty Wisconsin Pregnancy Care Centers since May of 2018. These care centers offer women in crisis pregnancies real help and hope both before and after the birth of their child, help that includes emotional support and much more. In many instances, Pregnancy Care Centers offer medical services; job training; transportation; and supplies such as diapers, formula, clothing, car seats, and more.
The fourth bill, Senate Bill 346, creates an Adoption Financial Assistance Grant Program designed to make adoption available to more Wisconsin families. The program would provide $5 million biennially to a Wisconsin adoption agency that gives financial help to families looking to adopt. The cost of adoption, even domestic adoptions, has risen substantially over the years and has become prohibitive for many couples that want to adopt. Adoption is a uniquely pro-life option that provides children with a forever family and is the answer to the hopes and dreams of many couples. By providing these couples with financial help, more children will be placed in healthy and stable home environments.
These bills demonstrate what the pro-life movement is ultimately really all about—creating a true culture of life. The best way we can celebrate the one-year anniversary of the overturning of Roe is to actively, purposefully support life; and these bills are an opportunity for Wisconsin to do just that.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council, reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
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