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Victories in the wee hours

Last week’s enormous public hearing on legislation to repeal Wisconsin‘s abortion ban is over. This effort overshadowed two significant victories in the Assembly in the wee hours of Friday morning.

*AB 710, a state partial-birth abortion ban. By a 59-38 bipartisan margin, AB 710 passed in the Assembly. Although there is a federal ban in place, it is important to have a state ban to give prosecutors the tools to prosecute those that violate the ban. The Senate is unlikely to take this measure up before the legislature’s March 13 adjournment.

*AB 770, legislation which creates tax credits and exemptions for research conducted in Wisconsin. Wisconsin Right to Life supported an amendment that passed in the Assembly which would prevent tax credits and exemptions from applying to businesses that are involved in the destruction of human embryos, the use of cells or tissue derived from the destruction of human embryos, the creation of human embryos for research purposes or the cloning of human embryos for any purpose. It is not clear if the Senate will take up this measure.

These bills were scheduled for the Assembly’s Thursday calendar. But, legislators like to talk in caucus and did not take up the calendar until 9:00pm. We were in the capitol until 3:30am on Friday morning to witness the completion of these two important measures. A long night in the capitol, but when all is said and done, it is worth it to have the kind of successes that occurred last week.


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