Dane Co. board to consider covering employee travel expenses for abortions

By: - October 24, 2022 2:45 pm
Drawing of female reproductive system with judge's gavel and stethoscope

Drawing of female reproductive system with judge’s gavel | Laura Rosina iStock / Getty Images Plus

A Dane County supervisor has introduced a budget amendment that, if passed, would reimburse travel expenses for county employees who travel out of the state to have an abortion. 

The amendment, introduced by Supv. Mike Bare, who represents a district around Verona, was briefed at the board’s Personnel and Finance Committee meeting Monday night. 

If approved, according to a news release, the county will work with its insurance broker — which is not able to cover the expenses — to figure out how to provide the benefit and establish a contract with a vendor capable of providing the service. The benefit would cover transportation, accommodation and other related costs. 

“While an archaic state law is preventing people from accessing reproductive health care, this amendment will help County employees and their spouses and dependents with the cost of traveling to get this important care,” Bare said in a statement. “Many private employers are providing this benefit, and it’s one more way the County can continue to be a competitive employer while helping employees exercise their rights.”

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade this summer and Wisconsin’s 1849 law criminalizing abortion went back into effect, Dane County has taken a number of steps to limit its ramifications in the largely Democratic county. 

Last month, a new ordinance was instituted that would prohibit the county from working with any agencies at the federal, state or municipal level that are involved in investigations, arrests or prosecution for actions in conflict with the abortion ban. 

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne has committed to not prosecuting women who receive abortions or doctors who provide them. 

Supv. Elizabeth Doyle, the chair of the committee set to consider the amendment on Monday, said in a statement the action would be a way for the county to support abortion rights. 

“This is one simple way we can show our support for abortion rights and for County employees,” she said. 

The county board’s committees are holding meetings throughout October to consider amendments to the proposed 2023 budget, which is expected to be finalized by November. 


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Henry Redman
Henry Redman

Henry Redman is a staff reporter for the Wisconsin Examiner who focuses on covering Wisconsin's towns and rural areas. He previously covered crime and courts at the Daily Jefferson County Union. A lifelong Midwesterner, he was born in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in journalism in May 2019.