January 17, 2014
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Urge Senate Action on Assembly Bills 216 and 217!


Since 2009, Wisconsin state law has required that all health insurance policies sold in Wisconsin provide coverage for prescribed contraceptive services. Unlike most states with similar requirements, Wisconsin has failed to provide any recognition of religious liberty and conscience. As a result, Catholic agencies in the state that cannot self-insure are forced to purchase morally objectionable coverage.


Efforts to address this are underway, but are currently stalled in the Wisconsin Senate. Assembly Bill 216, the Health Care Conscience Act, mirrors federal law by providing an exemption from objectionable contraceptive coverage requirements for religious entities. Also, like the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, Assembly Bill 216 prohibits state employee health insurance from covering most abortion services. Both measures in AB 216 simply align Wisconsin law with federal law.


Assembly Bill 217, the Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act, prohibits medical professionals from knowingly performing sex-selective abortions. This legislation promotes the dignity of human life, ensuring that gender discrimination will not be cloaked in the liberty of choice.


Opponents of these bills have spread numerous myths, including that Assembly Bills 216 and 217 continue the "war on women." To learn the true facts, read the WCC Issue Brief.



The Catholic bishops of Wisconsin strongly support AB 216 and AB 217. The role of government is to protect the life, liberty, and religious freedom of all. By passing Assembly Bills 216 and 217, the Wisconsin Assembly has lived up to its responsibility. We respectively request the Senate to do the same.


Please immediately contact your State Senator and urge them to pass Assembly Bills 216 and 217.  Remind your Senator that:  

  • Both measures in AB 216 would align Wisconsin law with federal law and ensure the protection of human life and religious liberty.
  • By prohibiting sex-selective abortion in Wisconsin, AB 217 affirms that respect for human life, especially women, begins in the womb.  

To find out contact information for your Senator, visit the Wisconsin Legislature's "Who Represents Me?" page at http://legis.wisconsin.gov/Pages/waml.aspx and enter in your address.