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Abortion bill debate reveals Assembly Democrat's story of rape

State Rep. Mandy Wright (D-Wausau)
State Rep. Mandy Wright (D-Wausau)

WAUSAU, WI (WTAQ) - As the result of an intense political debate, voters around Wausau are learning Friday that their new state representative was raped as a child.

Democrat Mandy Wright revealed her ordeal on the Assembly floor last night, just before majority Republicans approved a bill that requires abortion candidates to get ultrasounds.

The bill allows exemptions in cases of rape, incest, or when a mother’s life is threatened. To get the exemptions, victims would have to file complaints with police – something Wright said women should not have to do.

Wright noted that a large percentage of rape victims never go to the police, just like her family didn’t do when she was repeatedly raped by a cousin at age 8. Wright said her parents protected her, and she told her fellow lawmakers, “You are re-victimizing me and thousands of families across Wisconsin.”

The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network says about half of all sexual assaults are reported to law enforcement.

The Assembly sent the ultrasound bill – and the reporting requirement for exceptions – to Governor Scott Walker. He has promised to sign it.

Wright replaced fellow Democrat Donna Seidel in the Assembly in January.

Wright said she felt compelled to share her experience, because she does not want other women to have to disclose their trauma to get adequate health care.