Dual bills to advance the agenda of religiously motivated groups to ban research using aborted fetal tissue in the state have been introduced in the Wisconsin Legislature. Please take action now to protect lifesaving research from anti-science theocrats!
Religious groups including Wisconsin Right to Life, Pro-Life Wisconsin, Wisconsin Family Action and Wisconsin Catholic Conference have wrongly claimed that AB 83 and LRB 1754 would promote "ethical research." Research groups such as UW-Madison, UW Health, Medical College of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and BioForward have spoken out, pointing out that banning fetal tissue would needlessly halt federally regulated lifesaving research.
"The ban would be devastating to the remarkable opportunity we have to develop new, lifesaving vaccines, therapies and cures that will benefit patients across Wisconsin," said Rod Hise, a spokesman for the research coalition Cures for Tomorrow.
Take action against these dangerous bills by contacting Wisconsin lawmakers. Please ask the committee where AB 83 is assigned to kill the bill. You also have the opportunity to ask your state representatives to oppose both bills.
1. Click here to phone and click here to email the Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety (Chair John Spiros), where AB 83 has been referred.
The wording in the automated comment section is editable. We encourage you to add your own thoughts to personalize the message text, subject heading or signature. This will make your message more effective in swaying your legislator. (If you have a representative on the committee, his or her name should also appear when you click the links. If you are a constituent of a representative on the committee your opinion will really matter, so please make sure you identify as a constituent when you ask him or her to oppose the bill.)
2. Use our simple automated system to contact your state senator and representative to oppose both AB 83 and LRB 1754.
AB 83 was introduced last month by several Republican representatives in the state Assembly. The bill would ban the sale of and put limits on research using fetal tissue from abortions performed since Jan. 1, 2017. Under Wisconsin's current law there are already limits and regulations on the sale of fetal tissue for nonprofit use.
LRB 1754 is a more recent bill being circulated by the state's GOP lawmakers. This bill would ban the use of aborted fetal tissue for research, or any other purpose, regardless of whether money is involved. It would be paired with a companion bill that encourages the donation of research for stillbirth and miscarriage tissue. However, research groups opposed to LRB 1754 note that new fetal tissue is needed for some research, and that the bill would make it harder to conduct research on cancer, developmental disorders and other disease.
Absurdly, LRB 1754 would also require clinics that provide abortions to arrange a burial, cremation, or entombment of aborted remains. Violations could result in civil fines of up to $100,000. This bill is intended to punish abortion clinics and waste their money, or even put them out of business.
"The bill would reach into labs and end ongoing, pioneering research on heart disease, cancer, infectious disease, and neurological and developmental disorders," said Cures for Tomorrow, in a statement against the introduction of this latest bill.
This legislation wrongly attacks medical research beneficial to millions of people in order to cater to religiously motivated abortion opponents. Facts, rather than theocratic views, should determine the future of fetal tissue research. Already fetal tissue donation is done under strict federal laws and regulations. This includes a prohibition on anyone profiting from collecting fetal tissue. Laws regarding fetal tissue research and should be informed by expert, scientific views, not by theocrats pandering to the Religious Right's misinformed beliefs.