FFRF condemns proposed Texas-style abortion ban in Wisconsin

Abortion Comic

The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s home state of Wisconsin is the latest to be swept up in horrific anti-abortion legislation.

On Feb. 8, Wisconsin Republicans held a hearing on a bill that would prohibit anyone from performing an abortion if a “fetal heartbeat” is detected. SB 923 also allows anyone to sue an abortion provider for violating this unjust law and possibly be awarded up to $10,000. This is a near copycat of the Texas anti-abortion law that has banned virtually all abortions in the Lone Star State since Sept. 1. The ultraconservative Supreme Court’s inaction has solidified Texas as the most anti-abortion state in the nation. However, Wisconsin may not be too far behind.

Abortion bans are not based in science, but rather religious ideology. To begin with, it is important to note that the term “fetal heartbeat” is a misnomer. As Dr. Nisha Verma explains, “The flickering that we’re seeing on the ultrasound that early in the development of the pregnancy is actually electrical activity, and the sound that you ‘hear’ is actually manufactured by the ultrasound machine.” Dr. Jennifer Kerns concurs that “in no way is this detecting a functional cardiovascular system or a functional heart.” In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, an organization of more than 58,000 members, opposes so-called “fetal heartbeat” legislation, since it dramatically reduces a woman’s right to a legal abortion.

Nevertheless, religious extremists ignore facts in favor of faith.

Thankfully, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has vowed to veto any anti-abortion legislation. In a recent press conference, Evers explained: “Reproductive health care decisions are deeply personal and should be made by their health care providers. Period. Politicians and special interests shouldn’t interfere with those decisions.” While this is reason for hope, it is not a panacea for the persistent attacks on abortion. For example, Wisconsin still has a draconian 1849 abortion criminalization law on the books. Should Roe v. Wade be overturned this year, this archaic law could go into effect.

“My mother and I were inspired to found the Freedom From Religion Foundation by her realization — in campaigning back in the late 1960s and early ’70s against Wisconsin’s criminal anti-abortion ban — that the problem was religious interference in our civil laws,” says Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. “We are facing a dire civil liberties emergency not only in our home state but around the nation, due to religiously motivated anti-abortion lobbies and legislators.”

That’s why it is so important for freethinkers to remain vigilant about the persistent attacks on abortion and support the federal Women’s Health Protection Act, which would codify abortion rights in all 50 states. The act would further render these unscientific laws null and void. FFRF has long supported this bill. It has submitted formal testimony and joined hundreds of other groups in asking the Senate to pass this crucial bill. Now we need your help. Please urge your senator today to stand up for reproductive rights.

The pending draconian anti-abortion bill in the Wisconsin Legislature underscores the direness of the situation.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

Send this to a friend