On Campus

Critics condemn U Wisconsin abortion plans

University docs could perform abortions for patients who are between 13 and 22 weeks pregnant

Anti-abortion groups condemned a University of Wisconsin plan to provide second-trimester abortions at a Madison clinic and questioned whether it was legal.

UW Health spokeswoman Lisa Brunette said its gynecologists plan to begin performing abortions for patients between 13 and 22 weeks pregnant at the Madison Surgery Center. She said the plan needs final approval from the centre’s board, which could take action this month.

The Alliance Defense Fund, an Arizona-based conservative Christian legal group, publicized the plan and sent a letter asking UW officials to stop it. The group said the plan might violate a state law that prohibits state or federal money from being used to pay doctors or clinics to perform abortions.

Brunette acknowledged state-paid doctors working for the university would provide the services but she said its lawyers were comfortable the plan is legal. She said the abortions themselves would be paid for by insurance and patient fees, not public money.

ADF lawyer Thomas Bowman said the group was researching the arrangement and would “take quick legal action in the event that any legal violations are uncovered.”

– The Canadian Press

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