Wisconsin health officials lack data on abortion survivals

MGN Online

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Health officials say they have no data on how many fetuses may survive abortion attempts in Wisconsin.

Republicans introduced a bill last week that would require health care providers to care for fetuses born alive following abortion attempts. President Donald Trump has criticized Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' plans to veto the bill.

It's rare for a fetus to survive an abortion attempt. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 143 instances nationwide between 2003 and 2014.

Wisconsin health officials have no data on the number of fetuses born alive following abortion attempts in the state. Department of Health Services spokeswoman Jennifer Miller says the agency doesn't have the data because Wisconsin bans abortions after 20 weeks of gestation and babies born earlier aren't viable.

In 2017 1% of all Wisconsin abortions occurred later than 20 weeks. Miller said that figure reflects uncertainty about the fetus' age.

Remarks by President Trump about third trimester abortion during his campaign visit to Green Bay earned him a "False" rating on Politifact.com.

Republican Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke said the goal of the bill was to “reaffirm the fact that babies that survive abortions have the right to anything any other living, breathing individual in the state does.” Democrats say there are already laws in place that address this.