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Wisconsin Republicans Trying to Forbid Schools from Teaching OB/GYN Residents Abortion Procedure

Following a report that most Republicans disapprove of higher education (unsurprising considering how Republican-supported policies have rendered higher education out of reach for many), the Wisconsin GOP is moving to ban schools from teaching OB/BYN residents how to perform abortions.

The logic behind AB206, authored by state Rep. Andre Jacque (R-De Pere), is that teaching abortion at a public university is tantamount to using state dollars to pay for abortion, since some training takes place at Planned Parenthood.

“I’m trying to get UW out of the abortion business,” Jacque told the Journal-Sentinel. “I’m on pretty firm ground here.”

In Jacque’s eyes, his bill wouldn’t render abortion inaccessible for future generations because residents could somehow magically seek abortion training on their own, even though the state is already experiencing a shortage in OB-GYNs.

While federal funding would be going to residents learning how to perform abortions, women seeking abortions would still receive no aid from the state of Wisconsin to actually have the procedure. And at any rate, while Wisconsin might have a strict no federal funding for abortion policy, abortion in itself is still legal, and that means there’s no reason medical professionals who wish to learn shouldn’t have the opportunity.

Additionally, as Jezebel has pointed out, Jacque’s short-sighted, oh-so “pro-life” bill ultimately “ignores the most basic reality that abortions can be necessary to save the life of a mother, and that a generation of doctors untrained in the procedure would likely result in the loss of life.”

For all the conservative scare-stories out there, abortion is a safe procedure — safer, even, than colonoscopies — but that’s because abortion providers were able to receive excellent, comprehensive training. If women’s safety were really the concern here, the last thing Republicans would want would be to ban teaching OB/GYN residents how to perform the procedure.

According to the Council for Graduate Medical Education, OB-GYN training programs must “provide training or access to training the provision of abortions, and this must be part of the planned curriculum.” Trainees who object to abortions can opt out, according to the guidelines, but they must have the option to learn how to provide abortions.

“Wisconsin women will suffer if this bill passes,” the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said in a statement. “Abortion training is required for safe patient care, management of complications of pregnancy and abortion, and to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality. Maternal mortality in the US is rising and is the worst in the developed world.”

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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