Scott Walker today said that he would sign a Wisconsin bill banning abortion at 20 weeks – even if it does not include exceptions for cases of rape or incest. Earlier this year, conservative Republicans in Congress objected to a federal 20-week abortion ban because the exceptions weren’t strong enough, and the bill was pulled from a House vote. Walker’s position today is far more extreme than that, supporting a ban without any rape or incest exceptions at all.
Walker called the bill “rational and reasonable,” despite the fact that it is opposed by women’s health care providers and medical groups, including the Wisconsin Section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Late Friday, a federal courtstruck down a 20-week abortion ban in Idaho, declaring the law “unconstitutional because it categorically bans some abortions before viability” and “places an arbitrary time limit on when women can obtain abortions.” Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, no court has wavered on the legal precedent that it is unconstitutional to ban abortion prior to viability, which is what the 20-week ban would do. Every time these bans have been litigated, they have been enjoined, including in Arizona, Idaho, and Georgia.
Statement from Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“Scott Walker would force a woman to continue a pregnancy that’s the result of rape or incest. This is a remarkably extreme position that the vast majority of Americans, from all political backgrounds, oppose. As governor, Scott Walker has signed four laws restricting access to safe and legal abortion, and he blocked Planned Parenthood from receiving state funds to provide lifesaving cancer screenings and other health care to low-income women in Wisconsin. The more America learns about Scott Walker’s agenda for women, the clearer it is that he is far outside the mainstream.”
Additional background on Wisconsin’s 20-week ban:
The bill, introduced by Senator Mary Lazich, a longtime advocate for making all abortion illegal in Wisconsin, prohibits a woman from ending her pregnancy at 20 weeks and could threaten doctors who perform the procedure with a Class I felony and put doctors in prison. The bill does not include any exceptions for when there are significant risks to a woman’s health, if a woman is the survivor of rape and incest or if the pregnancy has severe fetal anomalies.
Abortion is a deeply personal and often complex medical decision that should be left to a woman and her family with the counsel of her doctor. Governor Walker promised to sign this ban on abortion even before the bill was introduced.
Broader Agenda: What’s happened in Wisconsin could happen in all 50 states if Scott Walker is elected president. Scott Walker has said he wants to ban abortion and has already signed four laws that threaten a woman’s ability to make her own health care decisions about her pregnancy, including laws that threaten doctors who perform abortions with felony charges for violating the law, require physicians to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, and block women from getting private insurance coverage for abortion. Not only has Scott Walker made Wisconsin one of the most difficult states to access safe and legal abortion, he also ended Planned Parenthood’s 16-year contract with the state to provide breast and cervical cancer screenings under the state’s well-woman program and forced the closure of five rural Planned Parenthood health centers, resulting in the disruption and loss of over 18,800 health care services for approximately 3,100 patients including lifesaving cancer screenings, breast exams, birth control, well-woman exams, pregnancy tests, STD testing and treatment, HIV screening, and referrals to a network of community resources.
If you have any questions, please contact the Planned Parenthood Action Fund media line at [email protected].