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Let’s Talk About Wisconsin AB 216: What WI Politicians Don’t Understand About Women’s Need to Access Birth Control and Abortion

The Wisconsin Assembly is considering a bill that would undermine women’s ability to control their reproductive health. AB 216  targets both access to abortion AND access to contraception—a move that a member of the Committee on Health reviewing the bill described as “ironic.” I would add ‘poorly informed, contrary to reason, and designed to undermine women’s ability to control their health care decisions.’

If passed, the bill would weaken women’s reproductive health in two ways:

  1. It would ban insurance coverage of abortion for state employees.
  2. It would allow certain kinds of bosses to take away women’s access to insurance coverage of birth control.

Politicians should not be interfering in women’s personal medical decisions. As Representative Chris Taylor says, “This is not what people want to see us do.” What women and families need is access to quality healthcare and support in making a decision that best suits their needs. AB 216 shows how out of touch some legislators are with the needs of their constituents and data showing that banning coverage of abortion takes benefits away from women and that contraception is the best way to prevent abortion .

 Wisconsin is not the only place where legislators are trying to stop abortion by making it harder to access, while also fighting women’s access to contraception.  As we look at the wave of bills focusing on controlling women’s health , we have to ask when state governments and Congress will think women are ready to make their own decisions.