April 4, 2018
When Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill on Tuesday that removes most abortion coverage for state and local public workers, he was acting on behalf of anti-abortion groups that have spent more than $200,000 to elect Republicans over the last eight years.
The measure, Assembly Bill 128, would only allow abortions to be covered by state health plans if they are needed to save the life of the mother or if the pregnancy occurred because of rape or incest and the assault was reported to police. The restrictions apply to current and retired state workers and local governments that participate in the state insurance plan.
Wisconsin law already prohibits insurance coverage for abortion through Medicaid and state exchanges set up for the federal Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. The federal government and 21 states already restrict abortion coverage in their employee health insurance plans.
Anti-abortion groups in Wisconsin exercise influence on elections by outside election spending and by direct contributions to candidates.
Outside electioneering activities, like mailings, broadcast ads and robocalls, from Pro-Life Wisconsin, Wisconsin Right to Life, and Wisconsin Family Action totaled more than $207,000 between January 2010 and June 2017 – all to support Republicans and oppose Democrats seeking legislative and statewide offices.
The top recipient of outside help by anti-abortion groups was Walker, who received about $24,600 in backing by the groups.