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Nonpartisan report finds biggest barriers to women’s health are from Wisconsin politicians

The key message of a new public education campaign launched, by the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health (WAWH), and supported by the National Partnership for Women & Families, is that the biggest threat to Wisconsin women’s ability to access quality reproductive care comes from politicians in the state.

The campaign highlights findings from a new, rigorous report by the nonpartisan National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, including that abortion is safe and that medically unnecessary regulations undermine access to quality abortion care.

The new campaign contrasts these findings with the fact that politicians have made accessing abortion care tremendously challenging in Wisconsin; a new report by the National Partnership identifies state abortion restrictions that can keep women from getting the care they need by misleading them, delaying care, requiring unnecessary tests, and making care more expensive.

The five-figure ad campaign, supported by the National Partnership, launched on May 30. It features Facebook and Twitter ads, podcast sponsorship; and digital ads on statewide news sites.

“It is painfully clear that anti-abortion state legislators will stop at nothing to push their radical agenda, despite growing evidence that these laws harm women,” said Sara Finger, WAWH founder and executive director. “It must stop. With this campaign, we’re aiming to raise awareness about our state’s dangerous abortion restrictions and how Wisconsinites can fight back.”

According to the National Partnership’s report, Bad Medicine: How a Political Agenda Is Undermining Abortion Care and Access in Wisconsin, Wisconsin has a number of abortion restrictions that bear no relationship to medical standards; undermining health care providers’ efforts to provide the highest quality, patient-centered care; and taking decision-making away from women.

For example, Wisconsin abortion providers are required to give women state-drafted materials that include biased, misleading and medically unnecessary information, and to administer a mandatory ultrasound, display the image and describe it.

Wisconsin also has a 24-hour mandatory delay that forces women to make medically unnecessary second trips to clinics to receive abortion care; a requirement that only physicians can provide abortion care despite evidence that advanced practice clinicians, such as nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives and physician assistants, can safely and effectively provide abortion care; a requirement forcing abortion providers to share information about fake women’s health centers that deceive, mislead and shame women; a ban on providing medication abortion via telemedicine – despite evidence that it is safe and improves access to care; and other harmful restrictions.

“Abortion is health care, and every time politicians enact medically unnecessary, burdensome anti-abortion laws – as they have time and again in Wisconsin – this health care is pushed further out of reach,” said Sarah Lipton-Lubet, vice president at the National Partnership. “It’s wrong and it’s harmful, and more Wisconsinites need to hear the truth, including from nonpartisan medical experts like those at the National Academies. We’re excited to continue to work with partners like Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health to push for changes that will protect, instead of undermine, women’s ability to get the health care they need.”

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