While calling himself pro-life, which he has previously stated includes opposition to abortion even in cases of rape or incest, Walker repeated the blatantly misleading statement that his recent anti-abortion legislation was about giving women more information on their healthcare decisions and increasing safety measures for women seeking safe, legal abortions. He also attempted to deflect the question on whether he personally opposed abortion in all cases by stating “that issue has been resolved, that was decided by the Supreme Court 40 years ago.”
According to the medical community, Walker’s legislation would actually put women’s health at risk. Walker’s legislation mandates medically-unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds and the reading of a state-authored shaming script. The bill was opposed by the medical community. Organizations like the Wisconsin Medical Society, WI Academy of Family Physicians, Wisconsin Public Health Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin opposed Walker’s legislation.
Walker has a long history of supporting and proposing legislation that radically restricts safe and legal abortion. In 1998, then-Rep. Scott Walker co-authored a bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks, even in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s health was in jeopardy, with a penalty of life imprisonment for physicians who performed the procedure. The bill also defined a “child” as the fetus “from the time of fertilization until it is completely delivered” – the very same language used by “personhood” advocates who hold the scientifically-debunked belief that birth control is an abortifacient. “Personhood” legislation would criminalize all abortions and would even outlaw common forms of birth control and fertility treatments.
You don’t need to ban safe and legal abortion to make it inaccessible. If it weren’t for two federal judges, the majority of Wisconsin women wouldn’t be able to access a safe and legal abortion — even in cases of rape, incest, or if their health was at risk.
In 1998, 1999 AND 2001, Walker was the lead author of a Wisconsin Right to Life bill known as the “conscience bill” which allowed doctors and pharmacists to refuse to prescribe and dispense birth control.
“This is yet another example of Governor Walker saying one thing while doing another. Scott Walker, against the wishes of the medical community, continues trying to ban safe and legal abortion and birth control.” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Communications Director Melissa Baldauff said on Tuesday. “Wisconsin women can’t afford four more years of politicians like Scott Walker who pass laws that put women’s health and safety at risk. Women, not politicians, should be the ones making their own medical decisions.”