Democrats say bill would limit contraceptives

Bill would prohibit using public money to pay for public employees' abortions
Democrats say bill would limit contraceptives

Democratic lawmakers are asking whether a bill that would make it harder and more expensive to get an abortion in Wisconsin is aimed at limiting women’s access to birth control.

The proposal from Republican Rep. Andre Jacque, of De Pere, would prohibit the use of public money to pay for abortion coverage in public employees’ health insurance plans, as well as relieve certain religious organizations and employers from having to provide coverage for contraceptive pills.

Democrats say the bill threatens women’s rights. Democratic Rep. Chris Taylor said during a Wednesday hearing that contraceptives are critical to women’s health and drugs should not be targeted simply because they prevent pregnancies.

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.

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