Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
He suggested that I do one of my commentaries on partial birth abortion. Remember, this was before many of us had even heard of the term.
“Are you serious?” I asked.
My colleague was, indeed, and said more people needed to be made aware of what actually happens, and I had the forum to get the information out.
I agreed and began my work on the commentary…..by taking a walk into the Program Director’s office.
The management gave me free rein on topics to write about and broadcast. I would be critiqued after my pieces aired, but very much like today where no one tells me what I can or can’t say on my blog, radio and TV appearances, no one at WTMJ influenced or chose my material in any shape or form.
On this occasion back in the 90’s, I made an exception and told management ahead of time about my planned commentary on partial birth abortion. WTMJ Radio had survived my decision as News Director to broadcast the Jeffrey Dahmer trial in its entirety, live, with few listener complaints. My boss had no problem with my abortion commentary and gave me the go ahead.
Prior to explaining the details of the procedure, I warned the audience what was coming, that the details would be graphic and might offend some listeners. My commentary, as always, ran twice during WTMJ’s highly-rated morning drive program.
After the second airing, I sat in the newsroom, and waited, and waited, and waited for the phone to ring.
They’ll be screaming for my head, I thought. How could you broadcast such a thing when my children were trying to eat breakfast, etc.
But the station got only a handful of complaints, maybe because people were fine with the information, or maybe because most people, even many pro-choicers see partial birth abortion for the gruesome, barbaric procedure it is.
But there are some who don’t want to hear the truth. When the subject came up on InterCHANGE on Channel 10 many years ago, I wondered out loud if I should describe the procedure. One of the liberals on the panel immediately interjected, “I wish you wouldn’t.”
A few weeks ago at the state Capitol, a state Assembly committee held a hearing on a bill to ban the procedure in Wisconsin.
The Associated Press (AP) reported:
Wisconsin Right to Life's legislative director, Susan Armacost, told the panel that in partial-birth abortion a doctor jams scissors in the skull, enlarges the hole and sucks the brains out with a catheter.
"A premature human is deliberately pulled to just within a few inches of being, medically and legally, a live birth. Thus, the difference between partial-birth abortion and homicide is a mere 3 inches," she said.
Brenda Pratt Shafer, a nurse who travels the country speaking against abortion, told the committee she assisted in a partial-birth abortion in 1993. The doctor used forceps to pull the baby out of the womb up to its neck, then stabbed the baby in the back of the neck - "the baby jumped," she said - and sucked its brains out, she said.
"I said, "God, don't let me throw up. Don't let me cry," Shafer said.
In an insensitive and insulting move, a member of the committee, state Representative Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) accused those giving the graphic testimony of putting on a performance.
"Maybe for future, people, we can tone it down," Hintz said.
Sorry, Representative Hintz, if you have difficulty listening to such testimony, but that is the stark reality of what happens during a partial birth abortion. There is no way to “tone down” the details. Hintz apparently is offended by the mere discussion of partial birth abortion but is ready to vote in support of the procedure, even though hearing the details disgusts him.
Again, back to InterCHANGE. The night we discussed Mel Gibson’s, “The Passion of The Christ,” one of the panelists questioned why movies have to be so violent.
Well what do you think they did to that poor man? Of course any depiction of the crucifixion of Christ is going to be extremely violent.
I would suggest to anyone who doesn’t want to hear graphic testimony about partial birth abortion to:
A) Refrain from attending future hearings or,
B) Leave the room when an opponent starts speaking.
The truth about partial birth abortion not only hurts, it kills.
The bill to re-instate the ban on partial birth abortion in Wisconsin is Assembly Bill 710. It has 53 Assembly sponsors, enough to pass in the Assembly, and 16 Senate sponsors, one vote short in the Senate.
The bill would allow a partial birth abortion if the mother's life is in danger. Changing the bill to allow the procedure to protect the mother's health would open the door to using any excuse for a partial birth abortion.
Why does Wisconsin need to pass this legislation?
The AP provides the following background:
“Wisconsin passed a law in 1998 that banned the late-term type of abortion.
A federal appeals court in 2001, however, nullified the prohibition.
The court said Wisconsin's statute was too similar to Nebraska's illegal partial-birth abortion ban.
The U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 struck down Nebraska's ban, saying it was too broad and infringed on a woman's right to an abortion.The Supreme Court last year, though, ruled a federal ban was legal. The court said the national ban was narrowly defined and didn't harm women's rights.
Rep. Jim Ott, R-Mequon, introduced a bill that would change wording in Wisconsin's ban to mirror the federal prohibition, reinstating the ban here. He said it is needed to allow local prosecutors to handle violations.”