Evers' pick to lead health agency faces abortion questions

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers' pick to lead the Wisconsin Department of Health Services says her deputy who is a former vice president at Planned Parenthood won't have any involvement in lawsuits challenging the state's abortion laws.

Secretary-designee Andrea Palm testified Wednesday before the state Senate's health committee.

Palm says former Planned Parenthood vice president for public affairs Nicole Safar was "absolutely" her first choice to work as her assistant deputy secretary. But Palm says she will have no role offering legal advice.

Republican Sen. Andre Jacque told Palm he was concerned that Safar could "undermine the state's defense" in a lawsuit filed last month by Planned Parenthood seeking repeal of laws making it more difficult for women to get abortions.

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