Here’s the Money Behind the Bill to Ban Abortions at 20 Weeks

May 11, 2015

Republican legislators are circulating a proposal that would prohibit a woman from having an abortion at 20 weeks or later in her pregnancy.

The measure, which does not contain an exception for a pregnancy caused by rape or incest, calls for a three-and-a-half year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine for anyone who performs an abortion at 20 weeks or later, except for a medical emergency, and the abortion provider would be required to abort the pregnancy using a method that gives the fetus the best chance of survival.

A 20-week abortion ban is supported by Wisconsin Right to Life, a statewide advocacy group that opposes abortion and spent about $230,000 on outside electioneering activities between 1998 and 2014 to support Republican legislative and statewide candidates, including almost $15,000 in the 2014 fall elections.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Mary Lazich of New Berlin, and Rep. Jesse Kremer of Kewaskum. Wisconsin Right to Life spent about $4,700 on outside electioneering activities to support Lazich since 1998, which was the first year she was elected to the Senate, and $155 to support Kremer in 2014 when he was first elected to the Assembly.

Top contributors to Lazich between January 1998 and Oct. 20, 2014, were Don Taylor, of Waukesha, a retired Waukesha State Bank executive, and his wife, Carol, $4,900; and Anthony and Andrea Bryant, of Waukesha, owners of Century Fence Co., $4,100.

Top contributors to Kremer in 2014 were Timothy Schmidt, of Jackson, president of Delta Defense, and his wife, Tonnie, $1,000; and Barbara and Rodney Hendricks, of Cedarburg, who are employees of Kohl’s and Costco, respectively, $937.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker said earlier that he would sign a bill that bans abortions at 20 weeks. Wisconsin Right to Life spent about $7,400 on outside electioneering activities in Walker’s 2010 general election, 2012 recall, and 2014 re-election to support him or attack his opponent.