This week, the Wisconsin State Assembly voted to approve a bill that would prevent health insurance plans for state employees from covering abortions, except in the cases of rape, incest, or to save the mother’s life.
While the bill passed on party lines, there was one legislator, Rep. Scott Allen (R), who said the law didn’t go far enough.
“Often in public debates people are afraid to say it, but let me just say it: Abortion is wrong,” Allen said, as reported by Mitch Reynolds of WIZM. “Although it may be legal we should in no way shape or form should we provide public funding for abortion.”
Allen then went on to argue that abortion was wrong for economic reasons, essentially saying that all women should be forced to have babies in order to grow the labor market.
“Labor force shortages are tied to population declines. Labor force shortages are a limiting factor in economic growth,” Allen said. “And limited economic growth poses a problem when government tries to pay for public services and infrastructure. In spite of this Mr. Speaker, ironically, the democrats continue their effort to support the abortion industry.”
According to the Capital Times in Wisconsin, the state Department of Employee Trust Funds already specifies that it will only cover abortions for “medically necessary” procedures. But this bill takes that a step further and makes sure “medically necessary” is clearly and concretely defined.
Democrats in the Wisconsin State Assembly tried to add two amendments to the bill — one to clarify that the measure would not impede the use of contraception, and another to get rid of the requirement that the victim of sexual assault or incest report the crime to law enforcement before being eligible for an abortion. Both amendments were rejected; those votes also were split strictly on party lines.
Speaking of party lines, it’s worth noting that the Wisconsin state assembly maps are considered to be the result of some of the most aggressive partisan gerrymandering in the country — in fact, they are currently under review by the Supreme Court.
Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) announced earlier this month that Wisconsin’s total labor force reached an all-time high in September.