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Groups debate ultrasound bill at Capitol hearing

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 5, 2013 at 7:25 pm •  Published: June 5, 2013

Nicole Safar, public policy director for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, said abortion is already limited in Wisconsin, and forcing ultrasounds would only make it harder.

"Politicians shouldn't make health care decisions for women," Safar said.

Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, said the bill is contradictory because it would require physicians to show the ultrasound image, while also allowing women to choose not to look at the picture.

Tosha Wetterneck, an internal medicine physician, said doctors know what's best for their patients and the mandate would hurt that relationship, given that abortion is already a controversial procedure.

But Julaine Appling, president of anti-abortion group Wisconsin Family Action, said the physician-patient relationship matters little at a time when the mother is highly stressed.

The other provision in Lazich's bill would require physicians to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility where they perform abortions. A companion bill, sponsored by Rep. Pat Strachota, R-West Bend, also was debated in the Assembly Health Committee.

The discussions came after recent debates over other Republican-backed bills that would keep certain religious organizations and employers from having to provide health insurance coverage for contraceptives, prohibit the use of public money to pay for abortion coverage in public employees' health insurance plans, and ban abortion for gender selection.