Advocacy groups speak on Wisconsin abortion bill

Would prohibit use of public money to pay for public employee procedures

Representatives from abortion-rights and anti-abortion groups in Wisconsin are heatedly debating a bill that would prohibit using public money to pay for public employees’ abortions and relieve certain religious organizations and employers from having to cover contraceptives.

Nicole Safar is the public policy director for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin. She told the Assembly Health Committee at a Wednesday hearing that most women use contraceptives for purposes other than abortion, and those who are poor are more likely to delay health decisions if their insurance won’t cover birth control.

But the president of Wisconsin Family Action, Julaine Appling, tells lawmakers that abortion affects unborn children and taxpayers should not be forced to pay for things that violate their religious and moral values.