The Wisconsin Assembly approved a parental consent bill for minors obtaining abortions Wednesday, a day after it defeated an attempt to repeal a dormant law that penalizes doctors who perform abortions.
Anti-abortion forces said the two votes were overwhelming victories for their national movement, but pro-choice leaders, while conceding defeat, predicted the actions would help them unseat lawmakers in the fall elections.
"We will remember in November," said Denise Matyka, a pro-choice leader and past president of Wisconsin National Organization for Women. "We will show the politicians that a vote against reproductive choice is a vote against the will of the people."
The consent bill, which requires girls under 18 to get the permission of at least one parent or a judge before having an abortion, now advances to the Senate where lawmakers warned it likely would be stalled in committee.
The Assembly voted 57-39 Tuesday against repealing a dormant state law that provides criminal penalties for performing abortions. The law was rendered unenforceable by the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling that legalized abortion.
Abortion opponents said they want to keep the law on the books in hope the Roe vs. Wade decision will be overturned.
The votes on the two bills marked the first time a state legislature acted on the abortion issue since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a Missouri case last summer that states could have greater latitude in regulating abortions.