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Thursday - October 5, 2017 2:32 am

Senate to vote on 20-week abortion bill, which was enacted in WI two years ago

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16 other states have passed similar laws 

A bill described as criminalizing abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy has been passed by the U.S. House this week.

The Senate could vote on it soon. The Congressional bill has been defeated twice in the last four years.

The 'Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act' is a nationwide version of laws already passed in Wisconsin and 16 other states.

La Crosse's Ron Kind sided with the other two Wisconsin Democrats against the abortion restriction, while four Republicans voted with the majority in passing it.

Chelsea Duffy from Wisconsin Right to Life says it didn't take long to pass the state bill in the legislature two years ago:

"It did move rather quickly," she said of the Wisconsin bill. "It passed through both houses and we have Republican majority.

"Governor (Scott) Walker had already pledge, in advance, that if it came to his desk, he would sign it."

Supporters of the law say the 20-week mark was chosen because studies show that a fetus can feel pain at that point of a pregnancy.

Duffy claims that law has led to measurable results.

"We know in 2015, when the law was enacted, since then, there have been about 52 less abortions in the state of Wisconsin, which we do credit to the passage of that legislation, along with other pro-life initiatives," she said.

Those 52 avoided abortions cited by Duffy, however, represent about 1 percent of the total number of abortions carried out in 2015 in Wisconsin.

Abortion reportedly is down 70 percent in the state from the peak set in 1980.

Last modified on Thursday - October 5, 2017 3:01 am
Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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