Weekly Dem Radio Address: Rep. Pope says medical experts are sounding the alarm over the shortage of obstetricians and gynecologists in Wisconsin

Hi, this is Rep. Sondy Pope with this week’s Democratic radio address.

Starting or expanding your family can be one of the happiest times in a person’s life. But for many women, finding maternity care is becoming increasingly difficult. 27 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties do not have a single OB/GYN. The Mayo Clinic is ending labor and delivery services at its hospitals in Menomonie and Barron. And there are no maternity care providers of any kind in Rusk or Pepin counties.

This means that some of our neighbors and friends are at higher risk for poor maternal and child health. And it will only get worse.

Fear of being charged with a crime under Wisconsin’s archaic 1849 abortion ban, which is again the law in our state, will make it difficult to recruit students interested in becoming OB-GYNs or family physicians in Wisconsin. You don’t have to take my word for it. Experts from the Wisconsin Medical Society and UW Medical School are sounding the alarm.

My fellow Democrats and I have been trying to get the Republicans who control the Legislature to reconsider the ban. But they refuse to work with us or Governor Tony Evers. They have made it clear that they support a law enacted more than 170 years ago before women were even allowed to vote. It’s time to listen to the overwhelming majority of Wisconsin residents who believe abortion should be legal.

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