Last week, Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) provided testimony in opposition to Assembly Bill 176, a bill authored by Republicans and supported by many others as co-sponsors. AB 176 would allow pharmacists to prescribe contraceptive drugs and devices. Currently, pharmacists in Wisconsin cannot prescribe any medication— none. But Republicans think prescribing potent contraceptive drugs is the one thing they should be able to prescribe and dispense.
Jack Hoogendyk, WFA’s Legislative & Policy Director, offered the testimony on behalf of WFA, including answering questions from committee members.
Hoogendyk began by noting that one of the main arguments being presented in support of the bill is that it will reduce poverty by addressing unintentional pregnancies. However, the solution to poverty is certainly not contraception.
“We acknowledge the public and personal cost of babies born to single moms, but allowing pharmacists to prescribe contraception is not the answer. One of, if not the best, antidotes to poverty is marriage. It certainly is not contraception. If this body is truly interested in reducing poverty in any kind of meaningful way, it will promote the Success Sequence, which is finish school, get a job, marry, and then have children,” he said.
Further, authorizing pharmacists to prescribe contraception promotes unmarried individuals to engage in sexual activity, at least to some degree, and contraception can fail, leading women to seek abortions. Some forms of contraception even cause a pre-implantation chemical abortion themselves.
Hoogendyk went on to explain problems with the language in the bill, such as the fact that it never uses the word “woman,” but rather “person” and “patient,” opening the door for men with malicious motives to obtain the drugs.
He also notes that contraception is not health care, as the bill suggests. “Contraception is about the personal choices and decisions of individual women, typically made under the advice and guidance of a doctor because of the potency of the pharmaceuticals involved. To talk in terms of this being about women’s health care is, at a minimum, disingenuous.”
Read the full testimony HERE.
This isn’t the first time this bill has been introduced; it’s at least the third time. Typically, the Assembly passes it, and fortunately, it dies in the Senate. However, that may not be the case this time, since the Senate version of the bill got assigned to a committee chaired by senators more favorable to the idea.
Ultimately, this bill would open the door to far more harm than good. Please pray that our elected officials have a change of heart and decide to defeat this bill.
Contact your assembly representative and senator and let them know your opinion on this bill. You can get full contact information for these officials HERE. Just put your address in the appropriate area at the top right. Your senator and representative info will pop up on the map.