For Immediate Release
October 17, 2017
Contact: Brad Bainum, bradb@wisdems.org
 
Extremist Leah Vukmir Champions Bill To Limit 
Women's Healthcare Options
 
Vukmir supported a zero-exception abortion ban, stated support for so-called "personhood" amendments that could ban common forms of birth control
 
"Vukmir's strident anti-choice viewpoints are among the most severe and punitive stances held by any elected official in the country."
 
MADISON -- Far right-wing state Senator Leah Vukmir is today holding a Senate Health and Human Services Committee hearing to tout her latest extremist anti-choice bill that would restrict Wisconsin women's access to a full range of healthcare options by prohibiting certain doctors from providing abortion services. Specifically, the bill forbids University of Wisconsin System doctors from performing abortions at privately funded facilities, on their own time, and even though using state and federal funds for abortions is already prohibited.  
 
As chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, Vukmir previously supported a 20-week abortion ban and received the endorsement of Pro-Life Wisconsin, an extreme anti-choice group that requires candidates to back so-called "personhood" amendments that would ban all abortions -- even in cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother -- and could even ban some common forms of birth control. And earlier this month, Vukmir predictably celebrated President Donald Trump's move to threaten birth control access for hundreds of thousands of women across the country.
 
Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning issued the following statement on far right-wing Leah Vukmir holding a hearing for her latest anti-choice legislation:
 
"On women's healthcare, Senator Leah Vukmir's strident anti-choice viewpoints are among the most severe and punitive stances held by any elected official in the country. Her career-long, ideological crusade to take away women's healthcare access and options prove that she is just far too extreme and dangerous for Wisconsin women."

Background:
 
VUKMIR SAID MORNING-AFTER CONTRACEPTIVE PILL PROMOTES “BAD CHOICES,” AND WORKED TO BAN UNIVERSITY HEALTH CLINICS FROM PROVIDING IT TO STUDENTS
 
Vukmir Supported Legislation That Would Prohibit University of Wisconsin Health Clinics From Providing Morning-After Contraceptive Pill To Students. “The state Assembly late Thursday narrowly passed a bill that would prohibit University of Wisconsin System health clinics from advertising, prescribing or dispensing the morning-after pill to students." [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/17/05]

Vukmir Said Morning-After Contraceptive Pill “Promotes Bad Choices.” “Rep. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa) said the university shouldn't be in the business of offering a service that encourages young women to be irresponsible. ‘This is about promoting bad choices, and the university shouldn't be the taxpayer-funded vehicle for it,’ Vukmir said.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/17/05]
 
AS COMMITTEE CHAIR, VUKMIR PUSHED THROUGH A 20-WEEK ABORTION BAN THAT DID NOT PROVIDE EXEMPTIONS FOR RAPE, INCEST OR THE HEALTH OF THE MOTHER 
 
Vukmir Supported Legislation To Ban Non-Emergency Abortion Procedures After 20 Weeks Of Pregnancy. “A fast-tracked Wisconsin bill that would ban non-emergency abortion procedures after 20 weeks of pregnancy advanced through a Senate committee Thursday, but its prospects remain unclear in the Assembly. The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services approved the bill on a 3-2 party-line vote, with Republicans supporting it and Democrats opposing it. Under the proposal, doctors who perform an abortion after 20 weeks in non-emergency situations could be charged with a felony and subject to $10,000 in fines or 3½ years in prison. As written, the bill doesn't provide exceptions for pregnancies conceived from sexual assault or incest.” [Associated Press, 6/4/15] 

Associated Press: Committee Chair Vukmir “Refused To Add A Last-Minute Amendment…That Would Have Prioritized A Mother’s Care Over That Of A Fetus In An Emergency Situation.” “Committee chairwoman Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa, refused to add a last-minute amendment from Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, that would have prioritized a mother's care over that of a fetus in an emergency situation. Erpenbach said bill's co-author, Senate President Mary Lazich, R-New Berlin, was trying to rush the bill through the Capitol, with unexpected consequences. “This legislation is all about treating the fetus first, period. That's it,’ Erpenbach said. ‘The Senate president has been hell-bent on rushing this to the point that she doesn't know what it is.’ Vukmir said the state's existing abortion statute gave sufficient description on treating a mother and a fetus in an emergency situation before she called a vote.” [Associated Press, 6/4/2015]
 
VUKMIR OPPOSED REPUBLICAN-BACKED MEASURE TO REQUIRE HOSPITALS TO MAKE EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION AVAILABLE TO RAPE VICTIMS
 
Vukmir Voted Against Emergency Contraception Bill That Passed Through Republican-Controlled State Assembly. “The Republican-controlled state Assembly decisively approved a bill requiring all hospitals - including religious-based institutions- to offer emergency contraception to rape victims. the bill passed 61-35, with 16 Republicans joining the entire Democratic caucus except for one member, Rep. Bob Ziegelbauer of Manitowoc, in support.” [Capital Times, 1/24/08; Project Vote Smart, AB 377
 
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