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Wisconsin’s Failing Grade on Reproductive Rights
For the first time, the state of Wisconsin has been given an F by the nation’s principal abortion rights group.
The Who Decides? report, released each year by NARAL Pro-Choice America, grades each state on its approach to reproductive rights. Since 2011, Wisconsin has scored a D+, but attacks on choice from the legislature over the last 12 months caused the grade to slide to a fail. In 2015, Wisconsin saw a ban on abortion at 20 weeks, creation of a Class I felony for providing late-term abortion, attacks on funding for family planning clinics, and legislators interfering with medical research.
"The Governor, Senate and Assembly are all considered hostile to reproductive rights. 98% of Wisconsin’s counties have no abortion provider,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin chair Eliza Cussen. "If you’re a woman in Wisconsin who wants to know her options, things look pretty bleak.”
Several states in the Midwest, including Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Missouri also scored F grades. No state in the Midwest scored higher than Illinois’ B-.
"This report shows an abortion access crisis throughout our region. Women across the Midwest are facing increasing challenges and dwindling options when it comes to their rightful healthcare,” said Cussen. "In order for this trend to reverse, we need not just cultural change but political change.”
NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin, the state’s leading abortion rights group, is drawing attention to Wisconsin’s failing grade by handing report cards to legislators at the Capitol on Thursday at noon.
"Conservative legislators think they can attack abortion without suffering at the polls. Women notice when their rights and their healthcare are taken away, and they remember who was responsible on election day,” said Cussen.
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