Governor Scott Walker signed into law on Friday new abortion restrictions that opponents said could lead to the closing of two of the state's four abortion clinics.
July 8, 2013

So you may have heard by now that Scott Walker signed a sneak attack on Wisconsin abortion rights. It's clear that this wave of stealth legislative assaults on abortion is being driven by ALEC's corporate agenda, and it doesn't have a damned thing to do with "protecting the unborn." It's about keeping people poor, desperate and docile. It's about cheap, disposable labor -- which is what Republicans and their corporate sponsors always want, and of course they're shameless enough to manipulate people into thinking they have some noble purpose behind it. Via the Maddow blog:

Every conceivable element of this story is offensive.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into law on Friday new abortion restrictions that opponents said could lead to the closing of two of the state's four abortion clinics. [...]The law requires women to undergo an ultrasound before they get an abortion and doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinics.

So, in addition to forcing two of the state's four abortion providers to shut down, Walker will now require women undergo a medically unnecessary procedure before exercising their constitutional rights. What if a woman doesn't want the ultrasound? Too bad; her governor is imposing one on her anyway. What if her physician says there's no need for an ultrasound? It doesn't matter; Republican politicians in Wisconsin have decided to put themselves between patients and their doctors.

And of course, insurance companies won't cover an ultrasound unless it's medically indicated, so the cost falls fully on the patient, who probably can't afford it! (If she could afford it, she'd fly to a sane state for her abortion.)

This, we're told, is the result of sensible policymaking from advocates of limited government.

But the way in which the Wisconsin governor signed this legislation into law adds insult to injury (in this case, almost literally). Scott Walker could have approved the measure in any number of ways, but he chose to do so privately, over the course of a holiday weekend, when the governor apparently thought it'd generate less attention.

There is, in other words, a degree of cowardice here -- if Walker thought he was doing the right thing, signing a measure with broad support into law, he wouldn't have been reduced to hiding.

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