With the close of the two-year legislative session, the Republican majority in the Assembly and the Senate failed once again to pass legislation prohibiting the trade and use of the body parts of aborted babies and promoting ethical alternatives.
Heal Without Harm (HWH), a coalition of the state’s major pro-life organizations and their tens of thousands of pro-life voters, is dismayed that Republican leaders took such pains to block the advancement of the pioneering bill package known as the Heal Without Harm Legislative Initiative. This was a betrayal of their pro-life constituents.
Despite this failure, the HWH Coalition is extremely proud of the authors and key medical researchers for their advocacy. Sen. Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls) and Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) authored two complementary bills, the “Fetal Remains Respect Act” (SB 423/AB 549) and the “Unborn Child Disposition and Anatomical Gift Act” (SB 424/AB 550). These bills would have banned the sale and use of body parts from aborted babies and informed parents about the ability to donate their miscarried or stillborn child’s tissue for research. The HWH Coalition also commends Rep. André Jacque (R-De Pere), Rep. Kathy Bernier (R-Lake Hallie), and the 36 additional co-sponsors for their tireless advocacy, both publicly and behind the scenes.
The HWH Coalition applauds the courage of medical experts Dr. Tara Sander Lee, Dr. Maria Feeney, and Dr. Kathleen Schmainda, who demonstrated that Wisconsin can indeed support groundbreaking research by using ethical alternatives to abortion-derived tissue.
Passing the HWH Initiative remains vital. The continued dependence on abortion-derived tissue legitimizes abortion, creates a demand for it, and further embeds it into our educational and medical institutions. Aborted children must never be treated as a means to an end, however noble. Likewise, no patient should ever have to face the choice of using or refusing an unethically-derived treatment.
The pro-life community is pro-medical research, but all human life must be respected and protected. In the next legislative session, the HWH Coalition will continue its efforts to inform the public and persuade legislators to make Wisconsin a leader in ethical, innovative, and effective biomedical research. We call on all those who support this goal to work together, and we urge legislators to heed the will of their constituents.
Wisconsin Right to Life
Wisconsin Catholic Conference
Wisconsin Family Action