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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Advocates react to UW Hospital abortion vote

The UW-Madison Hospital and Clinics Authority Board's vote Wednesday to implement a second-trimester abortion clinic raised mixed emotions among state community members. 


The board voted 11-3 to install the clinic in the Madison Surgery Center, a private joint venture owned by Meriter Hospital and UW Hospital. 


Without local availability of this service ... Madison-area women will be forced to obtain this procedure elsewhere and may obtain it under conditions that do not meet current medical standards,"" UW Hospital spokesperson Lisa Brunette said in a statement.  


The Alliance Defense Fund, a legal alliance that defends religious freedoms, began protesting the clinic in early December 2008. 


""UW Hospital cannot authorize second-trimester abortions in this clinic without creating pervasive plans,"" Matt Bowman, legal counsel for ADF, said.  


Bowman said the clinic could potentially violate state laws and inherently threaten to violate the consciences of employees who work there. 


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Several anti-abortion advocates from Wisconsin said they are unsatisfied with the board's decision. 


Peggy Hamill, state director of Pro-Life Wisconsin, said it was clear the board members knew their vote before the start of the meeting.  


""One has to pray that the truth that resonated throughout all the stunning testimony of those people ... on the side of life will eventually touch the hearts of those members of the board that voted in favor of the slaughter of children at the hands of the UW,"" she said. 


State Rep. Kelda Helen Roys, D-Madison, said it was important for doctors to see the public health need in the Madison area, but she was unsatisfied with how the hospital handled the matter. 


""Abortion is a medical procedure, and the only thing disappointing about the whole process is that it was treated differently than any other medical procedure,"" she said. ""The only people that should be having a say in this is the patients and the doctors."" 


State Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, who led 28 state senators in petitioning against the clinic, said second-trimester abortions are not seen in countries like France, Germany and Russia.  


""This not only makes the University of Wisconsin a statewide embarrassment, it makes it an international embarrassment,"" he said. 


Boards from the UW Medical Foundation, Meriter Hospital and the Madison Surgery Center still need to vote on the issue.

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