MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Assembly has passed a so-called "born alive" anti-abortion bill that would require physicians care for babies who survive abortion attempts or face prison.
The chamber passed the Republican-authored measure 62-35 on Wednesday, sending it on to the state Senate. GOP leaders in that house expect to vote on the bill next month. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has already promised to veto the proposal.
Opponents say babies are almost never born alive after failed abortion attempts and in the rare instances when they are, doctors are ethically bound to try and keep them alive.
In a press conference before the vote, Assembly Democrats said the legislation is chilling and jeopardizes women's health care access.
"We've already seen an impact on health because of decision made in Wisconsin over the past 8 years. Clearly, it is following the same playbook where they are going to pander to some of their own groups; they are going to try and distract and create some of these false narratives," said Democratic state Rep. Gordon Hintz.
Democratic state Rep. Debra Kolste accused Republicans of basing the bill on "false facts and false premises" during the floor debate on the bill.
The bill's chief sponsor, Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, says he just wants to assure that there's proper care for children who survive abortions.
"This is simply saying if a baby survives an abortion and takes that first breath, that we need to do and have a responsibility to do everything we can possibly do to ensure the baby is safe, comfortable, and to all extent practical, survives," Steineke said.