A Wisconsin Republican state lawmaker argued that his experience as a veterinarian makes him an expert in human fetal development during a debate on Thursday over a 14-week abortion ban in the state.
“The question is whether abortion is healthcare. And if you believe that a fetus is a human life, then abortion is not healthcare,” Rep. Joel Kitchens said on the Assembly House floor. “You know, in my veterinary career, I did thousands of ultrasounds on animals, you know, during pregnancy and that kind of thing. So, I think I know mammalian fetal development better than probably anyone here.”
He continued: “And in my in my mind, there’s absolutely no question. That’s life. And I think the science backs me up on that. But this is really a moral question. And I recognize that not everybody’s in here is gonna– that’s in here is gonna agree with me. And if I had the oratorical skills of Lincoln, I still wouldn’t change a single mind over there.”
The bill that was being debated would set up a statewide referendum during April’s election asking voters whether the 14-week abortion ban, in HUMANS, should take effect.
The bill passed in the Assembly after more than two hours of debate on a 53-46 vote. Ten Republicans opposed the measure. It is unclear whether there are enough votes to pass the bill in the Senate.
If it does pass, Wisconsin Democratic Governor Tony Evers has said he will veto it.
Current Wisconsin law prohibits abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.