MADISON, Wis. - The state Assembly has approved a Republican bill that would require women seeking an abortion to get an ultrasound of the fetus.
The measure would require the ultrasound and the technician to point out the fetus' features and organs. The bill also would prohibit doctors from performing abortions unless he or she has admitting privileges in a hospital within 30 miles.
Critics contend Republicans are treating women as if they can't make choices for themselves and are trying to shut down an Appleton abortion clinic because doctors there can't meet the 30-mile requirement.
Republicans who control the Assembly passed the bill regardless on a 56-39 vote. The state Senate passed the measure on Wednesday. It now goes to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.
The Wisconsin Assembly has also approved a bill that would ban abortions based on the fetus' sex.
Rep. Steve Kestell, an Elkhart Lake Republican, wrote the bill. It prohibits anyone from knowingly performing a sex-selective abortion.
The measure also would enable the fetus' mother, father or grandparent to sue the abortion provider for emotional and psychological harm and seek an injunction prohibiting the provider from performing another sex-selective abortion. The court proceedings would be secret unless the plaintiffs specify they could be held in open court.
The Assembly passed the measure 58-39 on Thursday despite minority Democrats' contention that sex-selective abortions aren't a problem in Wisconsin. The bill goes to the state Senate.
And finally, the Assembly has passed a bill that would make public workers' abortions more expensive and allow religious organizations to refuse insurance coverage for contraceptives.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Andre Jacque, a De Pere Republican, would prohibit using public money to cover abortions in public employees' health insurance plans. Anti-abortion group Wisconsin Right to Life says 18 other states already ban insurance coverage for abortions for public employees.
The bill also would exempt religious organizations and employers' insurers from requirements in current state law that mandate coverage must include contraceptives.
The chamber approved the measure Wednesday on a 58-39 vote despite minority Democrats' complaints that Republicans were legislating women's reproductive choices when they should be working to improve Wisconsin's economy.
The proposal goes next to the state Senate.
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