MADISON, Wis. – As with campuses across the country, the most controversial prescription medication available to students at the University of Wisconsin is the morning-after pill (search).
Wisconsin state Rep. Dan LeMahieu (search) believes taxpayer-funded educational institutions have no business dispensing emergency contraception.
"I do believe that the Plan B morning-after pill can cause a chemical abortion," said the Republican lawmaker.
LeMahieu sponsored legislation that would prohibit University of Wisconsin (search) health clinics from advertising or distributing the Plan B pill, which is taken after sex to prevent pregnancy. The bill narrowly passed the state Assembly last month.
The impact on students worries some school administrators.
"This is interfering with our ability to provide a legitimate service to students who pay for our services and rely on us to provide their health care," said Kathy Poi, executive director of University Health Services UW Madison.
Students are also worried. Mae Singerman, 20, took emergency contraception three months ago and said a pregnancy might force her to drop out.
"It was a really stressful situation, so having access to emergency birth control was totally vital," she said. "Who knows if I would be in school right now if I hadn't had access?"
The passage of the bill has created a clash of ideologies in Wisconsin and its historically liberal universities. The state is the first in the country to have a legislative chamber pass a ban on emergency contraception on college campuses. Similar legislation has died in Virginia the past two years.
Matt Sande, director of legislative affairs of Pro-Life Wisconsin, said he hopes the measure is a sign of things to come.
"I think that basically sends a message that there is a real concern with the morning-after pill," he said.
Critics say LeMahieu's bill is overly broad, and could one day result in a ban of all contraception on campus. In a written opinion, the state's Democratic attorney general, Peg Lautenschlager (search), said the bill not only discriminates against female students but also raises numerous constitutional concerns.
"There is a real danger Representative LeMahieu's proposed legislation would be interpreted to include all hormonal birth-control medications, further limiting UW students' access to contraceptive options," she wrote.
But LeMahieu insists his target is just one pill.
"Obviously we aren't going to be able to legislate the social activities of students and of young people," he said.
It is not clear which way the state Senate will go on the matter, but the earliest vote could take place this fall after the summer recess. Even if the bill passes again, its chances of becoming law may be bleak: Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle (search) has indicated he would veto it.
Click in the box near the top of the story to watch a report by FOX News' Jeff Goldblatt.