MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Assembly has passed a bill that would make public workers' abortions more expensive and allow religious organizations to refuse insurance coverage for contraceptives.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Andre Jacque, a De Pere Republican, would prohibit using public money to cover abortions in public employees' health insurance plans. Anti-abortion group Wisconsin Right to Life says 18 other states already ban insurance coverage for abortions for public employees.
The bill also would exempt religious organizations and employers' insurers from requirements in current state law that mandate coverage must include contraceptives.
The chamber approved the measure Wednesday on a 58-39 vote despite minority Democrats' complaints that Republicans were legislating women's reproductive choices when they should be working to improve Wisconsin's economy.
The proposal goes next to the state Senate.