"Women are exhausted of Wisconsin Republicans' decade long obsession with over-regulating abortion policies instead of seriously pursuing policies that increase access to reproductive health care and help prevent unintended pregnancies".
Republican state Rep. Andre Jacque, of De Pere, is lead sponsor of the bill in the Assembly.
Opponents of the bill argue it would limit women's access to reproductive health care, while substituting the judgment of doctors with the will of politicians.
The proposal didn't have enough support to pass in 2013, and even if it clears the even more Republican Legislature this year the impact of such a ban could be minimal.
While the bill would not cover surgical abortions, it would mandate state-funded colleges to offer an abortion pill that can be taken up to 10 weeks after a woman's last period. How those are defined is left up to the health plan, but they generally are only those considered to be medically necessary, said Nancy Ketterhagen, spokeswoman for the Department of Employee Trust Funds, which administers state worker benefits.
"When I was going through a very hard time with pregnancy loss, I needed my physician", said Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison).
Wisconsin already prohibits abortion coverage for people on Medicaid, while 21 other states prohibit abortion coverage for public employees as well.
"I think Planned Parenthood is incredible but I think having it on campus and having it easily accessible would also be wonderful", said Natalie Fink, a Cal Poly student. "Leave these decisions to the professionals".
Utah Rep. Chaffetz says he won't run for re-election
Chaffetz, who was first elected to Congress in 2008, revealed his future plans in a Facebook post Wednesday morning. He said he had no ulterior motives, and was not leaving office because of health concerns.
The bill would ban health insurance plans from covering elective abortions for state employees, according to its authors, Sen.
"Governor Walker is focused on Wisconsin's economy and getting the state budget done".
Three anti-abortion groups are supporting the Republican-backed bill.
Following SB 320's approval today by the Senate Health Committee, the bill will next proceed to the Senate Education Committee where it will remain for the next few months while Senator Leyva and stakeholders continue to work on the particular issues related to the bill. Eight of the Senate's 20 Republicans are signed on as co-sponsors.
The measure would prohibit the state's Group Insurance Board from entering into a contract for health insurance that provides abortion services. The prohibition would also exist if the state moves to a self-insurance model, as Walker is proposing.
"To my knowledge, no other state has gone so far as to try to require chemical abortion coverage on campus", said Jonathan Keller, CEO of the Fresno-based California Family Council.
The bill does include exemptions for cases of rape and incest, and when the life of the mother is at risk.