Wisconsin right to life has successfully fought back against many, many anti-life pieces of legislation. Believe it or not, below are just highlights of some of the anti-life legislation we successfully defeated over the years, both when we had right-to-life leaders in Madison, and when we did not:

Attempts to Repeal WI's Long-Standing Abortion Ban s. 940.04

Section 940.04 bans abortion throughout pregnancy, unless it is necessary to save the life of the mother. This law currently cannot be enforced, but when the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision is reversed, s. 940.04 will be enforceable again. Abortion rights advocates know this and have attempted to repeal s. 940.04 so that it will no longer be on the books when Roe is reversed. These repeal attempts occurred in the following legislation:

2016 Assembly Bill 880

“Patients Reproductive Health Act” to repeal s. 940.04 along with almost all right-to-life legislation, and create phony “right of conscience” for doctors at religious hospital to perform abortions – No action was taken on this bill.
2016 Assembly Bill 880

2016 Senate Bill 653

“Patients Reproductive Health Act” to repeal s. 940.04 along with almost all right-to-life legislation, and create phony “right of conscience” for doctors at religious hospital to perform abortions – No action was taken on this bill.
2016 Senate Bill 653

2015 Assembly Bill 916

Repeal of s. 940.04 – No action was taken on this bill.
2015 Assembly Bill 916

2015 Senate Bill 701

Repeal of s. 940.04 – No action was taken on this bill.
2015 Senate Bill 701

2008 Assembly Bill 749

Repeal of s. 940.04 – A public hearing was held, but no action was taken on this bill.
2008 Assembly Bill 749

2008 Senate Bill 398

Repeal of s. 940.04 – A public hearing was held, but no action was taken on this bill.
2008 Senate Bill 398

2005 Senate Bill 721

Repeal of s. 940.04 – No action was taken on this bill.
2005 Senate Bill 721

2005 Assembly Bill 1144

Repeal of s. 940.04 – No action was taken on this bill.
2005 Assembly Bill 1144

1991 Assembly Bill 1

Repeal of s. 940.04 – No action was taken on this bill.
1991 Assembly Bill 1

1989 Assembly Bill 571

Repeal of s. 940.04 – No action was taken on this bill.
1989 Assembly Bill 571

1989 Senate Bill 319

Repeal of s. 940.04 – No action was taken on this bill.
1989 Senate Bill 319

1989 Assembly Bill 500

Repeal of s. 940.04 – The State Assembly defeated this bill on a procedural vote.
1989 Assembly Bill 500

1989 Senate Bill 31

Annual Budget for the State – A provision to repeal s. 940.04 was added to the budget, but it was removed before the budget passed.
1989 Senate Bill 31

1985 Assembly Bill 510

“Pregnancy Options” legislation – During negotiations on interim drafts of AB 510, a repeal of s. 940.04 was attempted, but it was removed.
1985 Assembly Bill 510

Attempts to Publicly Fund Abortions

Section 20.927 prohibits the public funding of most abortions. There have been several attempts to repeal s. 20.927 or sneak in public funding for abortion.

2007 Senate Bill 562

Attempted to authorize coverage of “therapeutic” abortions in state employee health insurance plans to give unrestricted public funding to abortions – A public hearing was held, but no action was taken on the bill.

2007 Senate Bill 562

1995 Assembly Bill 320

Repeal of s. 20.927 – No action was taken on this bill.

1995 Assembly Bill 320

1993 Assembly Bill 500

Repeal of s. 20.927 – No action was taken on this bill.

1993 Assembly Bill 500

1991 Assembly Bill 444

Repeal of s. 20.927 – No action was taken on this bill.

1991 Assembly Bill 444

1989 Assembly Bill 20

Repeal of s. 20.927 – No action was taken on this bill.

1989 Assembly Bill 20

1987 Assembly Bill 832

Repeal of s. 20.927 – No action was taken on this bill.

1987 Assembly Bill 832

Legalization of Euthanasia

Euthanasia involves the intentional and direct killing of an individual by a physician, most commonly by lethal injection, or by another person. Euthanasia is illegal in the United States under each state’s criminal intentional homicide statutes.

There have been two bills in Wisconsin to legalize euthanasia. In 1975, an extreme “right to die” bill was introduced which provided that “any person may request any person 14 years of age or older to terminate the life of the requestor.” The request could be either oral or written. This legislation was not limited to adults. “A person 7 years of age or older but under 18 years of age” would have had the same right to request life termination after notifying “his parents or guardian.” A child under seven years of age would not have a right to request someone to terminate his or her life. This legislation would have also repealed Wisconsin’s long-standing ban on assisted suicide. In 1993, a more typical “aid in dying” bill was introduced which would have allowed physicians to end the lives of terminally ill adults who had made a written request to die.

1993 Assembly Bill 755

“Aid in Dying” legislation – A public hearing was held, but no action was taken on this bill.

1993 Assembly Bill 755

1975 Assembly Bill 1207

“Right to Die” legislation – No action was taken on this bill.

1975 Assembly Bill 1207

Legalization of Physician-Assisted Suicide

Physician-assisted suicide involves a medical doctor who intentionally provides a patient with the means to kill him or herself, usually by an overdose of prescription medication. Oregon is the only state that has legalized physician-assisted suicide. Proponents of physician-assisted suicide (PAS) have continuously introduced legislation to create a system in Wisconsin similar to the one in Oregon. The legislation generally gives competent adults with a terminal condition the right to make a written request to their physicians for medication for the purpose of ending their lives.

2015 Assembly Bill 67

Legalization of PAS – No action was taken on this bill.

2015 Assembly Bill 67

2015 Senate Bill 26

Legalization of PAS – No action was taken on this bill.

2015 Senate Bill 26

2007 Assembly Bill 298

Legalization of PAS – No action was taken on this bill.

2007 Assembly Bill 298

2007 Senate Bill 151

Legalization of PAS – No action was taken on this bill.

2007 Senate Bill 151

2005 Assembly Bill 507

Legalization of PAS – No action was taken on this bill.

2005 Assembly Bill 507

2005 Senate Bill 224

Legalization of PAS – No action was taken on this bill.

2005 Senate Bill 224

2003 Assembly Bill 348

Legalization of PAS – No action was taken on this bill.

2003 Assembly Bill 348

2003 Senate Bill 169

Legalization of PAS – No action was taken on this bill.

2003 Senate Bill 169

2001 Assembly Bill 417

Legalization of PAS – No action was taken on this bill.

2001 Assembly Bill 417

2001 Senate Bill 184

Legalization of PAS – No action was taken on this bill.

2001 Senate Bill 184

1999 Assembly Bill 297

Legalization of PAS – No action was taken on this bill.

1999 Assembly Bill 297

1999 Senate Bill 124

Legalization of PAS – No action was taken on this bill.

1999 Senate Bill 124

1997 Assembly Bill 32

Legalization of PAS – A public hearing was held, but no action was taken on this bill.

1997 Assembly Bill 32

1997 Senate Bill 27

Legalization of PAS – A public hearing was held, but no action was taken on this bill.

1997 Senate Bill 27

1995 Assembly Bill 174

Legalization of PAS – No action was taken on this bill.

1995 Assembly Bill 174

1995 Senate Bill 90

Legalization of PAS – A public hearing was held, but no action was taken on this bill.

1995 Senate Bill 90

Surrogate Decision Making

When individuals are no longer capable of making health care decisions for themselves, Wisconsin law provides documents that can be used by individuals to let others know how they would like these health care decisions to be made. For example, they can use a Power of Attorney for Health Care to appoint another person to make health care decisions for them. At all times, the individual is in charge of making his or her own health care decisions when he or she is able to do so.

Surrogate decision making laws have been proposed to cover situations where an individual has not completed a Power of Attorney for Health Care or a Living Will, and there is no court-appointed guardian for the individual. These legislative proposals are dangerous because they do not recognize the presumption in favor of the individual’s life, and they give surrogate decision makers the authority to refuse to consent to the use of life-sustaining treatments and feeding tubes in situations where the individual is not dying. Surrogate decision making laws inappropriately focus on “who” makes the health care decision, and ignore the paramount issue of making decisions that uphold the presumption that favors life.

In Wisconsin, a comprehensive surrogate decision making bill was considered in 1997.

1997 Senate Bill 312

Surrogate Decision Making bill – A public hearing was held, but no action was taken on the bill.

1997 Senate Bill 312

“Clone and Kill” Legislation

“Clone and kill” is a term used to describe legislation that allegedly bans human cloning for all purposes, but in reality only bans human cloning for the purpose of reproduction – to produce an exact replica of a human being – by making it illegal to implant a cloned human embryo into a woman’s womb so the embryo can continue to develop and be born. Creating human embryos using the cloning process would still be permitted for research resulting in the destruction of the human embryo. At the present time, scientists have not been able to create a cloned human embryo, but they are actively trying to accomplish this and are adamantly opposed to any legislation that would ban human cloning for research purposes.

In Wisconsin, “clone and kill” legislation has been proposed as a stand alone “clone and kill” bill, and also as an amendment to a ban on cloning bill, legislation intended to ban human cloning for all purposes.

2005 Assembly Bill 499

“Clone and Kill” amendments to a Ban on Cloning bill – A “clone and kill” amendment was introduced in the State Assembly, but it was defeated. A similar “clone and kill” amendment was introduced in the State Senate, and it was also defeated.

2005 Assembly Bill 499

2003 Assembly Bill 104

“Clone and Kill” amendment to a Ban on Cloning bill – The “clone and kill” amendment was introduced, but no action was taken on it.

2003 Assembly Bill 104

2001 Senate Bill 379

“Clone and Kill” bill – The bill passed the State Senate, but there was no action on the bill in the State Assembly.

2001 Senate Bill 379

Have any questions about these pieces of legislation, or other anti-life legislation Wisconsin Right to Life defeated that are not listed here? Email cshields@wrtl.org for more information. 

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