Back in April, Andre Jacque, a Republican politician and member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, introduced a bill that sought to disallow University of Wisconsin from training enrolled individuals to perform abortions. The bill would also insist that training to perform terminations can be conducted only in hospitals. Jacque's bill has caused a significant deal of alarm and concern among some faculty members and students, which is why the University of Wisconsin is fighting the anti-abortion bill.
The dean of University of Wisconsin-Madison, Robert Golden, detailed in an interview with the Associated Press how Jacque's bill could cause the loss of accreditation for those invested in OB-GYN training. This lack of accreditation could potentially lead residents to abandon the institution's medical school and head out to other states, according to Golden.
That's not all. Golden also feared that the damage caused by the anti-abortion bill could have far-reaching consequences, going beyond the residency program.
Golden cited the lack of OB-GYN experts in the state and said that already 20 of 72 of Wisconsin's counties face a dearth in OB-GYN professionals, according to the American Medical Society.
According to the Associated Press, Jacque believed that the fear of a lack of OB-GYN in Wisconsin was hyperbole and detailed why he was adamant on ending training for abortion within University of Wisconsin. "I’m trying to get University of Wisconsin out of the abortion business," Jacque stated. He also said he was on "pretty firm ground" for his case.
Some observers believe that Jacque's contention with the University of Wisconsin's medical program and abortion training is more of an attack on Planned Parenthood. As the state of Wisconsin prohibits using public funding for elective abortions, the university has a pact with Planned Parenthood and receives funding from the organization to train individuals in conducting safe abortions. Without the organization's monetary help, the institution is likely to face difficulty in providing the necessary expertise in carrying out abortions.
A shortage of OB-GYN experts can have devastating consequences for women's health care. It isn't just Wisconsin that suffers a particularly disturbing lack of OB-GYN; almost half of the counties in the United States lack a single OB-GYN according to the American College of Nurse-Midwives.
In simple words, this means women lack the medical infrastructure needed for primary health care during pregnancies, maternity care, and more. Many women have to drive for hours to simply see a well-trained OB-GYN, which has a remarkably taxing effect on one's health. Without accreditation, the lack of OB-GYN can become even more acute. If the bill becomes law, it will lead to a shortage of trainees and OB-GYN, which would hurt the women in Wisconsin. "Nobody would choose to come here," Golden said.