MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - In what Democrats called a “war on women,” the Wisconsin Assembly voted overnight to require school sex education classes to teach abstinence as the only way to avoid pregnancy.
That house also voted to ban most abortion coverage in insurance plans offered as part of the federal health care reform law.
Both measures now go to Governor Scott Walker for his signature.
The GOP majority zeroed in on women’s health issues after failing to achieve two of its main economic goals for the session – mining and the creation of venture capital for new businesses.
The two-year session ends late Thursday night. And by then, Assembly Republicans hope to approve another abortion restriction.
It would allow abortion-inducing drugs to be given only after the patient gets a physical exam – and if the doctor is in the same room and not on a Webcam.
Ashland Democrat Janet Bewley said she felt like she was back in the 1950’s in decrying what she called a “war on women’s rights.” But Oconomowoc Republican Joel Kleefisch said he was interested in protecting the rights of the unborn.
The sex education requirement for abstinence passed 60-34, with Democrats Peggy Krusick and Tony Staskunas joining all Republicans in voting yes.
Republicans said it gives schools the choice of teaching kids about contraceptives instead of making it a mandate. But Whitefish Bay Democrat Sandy Pasch said it would cause more teen pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases. And she said it would put young lives at risk.