Wisconsin governor signs tougher abortion bill
July 5th, 2013
07:19 PM ET
10 months ago

Wisconsin governor signs tougher abortion bill

(CNN) – Wisconsin became the latest state Friday to legislate tighter abortion laws after Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed a controversial bill that requires women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion.

"This bill improves a woman's ability to make an informed choice that will protect her physical and mental health now and in the future," the governor's office said in a statement.

The law requires medical providers to display the ultrasound images “so that the pregnant woman may view them” before she undergoes a procedure. She must be given a medical description of the images, as well as the dimensions of the fetus and a description of external features or internal organs that are present. The woman also must be provided a means to see any heartbeat, according to the law.

The bill, which passed the Republican-controlled Legislature in June, also places stricter standards on abortion clinics by prohibiting doctors without admitting privileges at local hospitals from performing abortions.

Pregnancies that result from rape or incest are excluded from the requirements.

According to the law, the ultrasound provision lets women choose between transvaginal and abdominal ultrasounds.

Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia faced fierce opposition last year over intrusiveness concerns when he supported a transvaginal ultrasound requirement. He later pushed for lawmakers to amend the bill, saying such a mandate was not a "proper role for the state."

Opponents of the Wisconsin law say the provision requiring admitting privileges could effectively shut down two abortion clinics in the state. Planned Parenthood announced Friday it will file a lawsuit in federal court to block the law, arguing some women may now have to travel at least an extra 200 miles to have a legal abortion.

“Whether during special legislative sessions, at midnight votes, or in courthouses across the country, Planned Parenthood is fighting deeply unpopular and dangerous attacks on women’s health every step of the way,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. “The health and safety of American women are at stake - and that is why this unconstitutional law cannot be allowed to stand.”

Anti-abortion activists in Texas are fighting to pass a restrictive abortion bill, which would impose more regulations on abortion providers in the state and ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. And the North Carolina Legislature voted this week to increase a number of standards for abortion clinics, but the governor has yet to act on the bill.


Filed under: Abortion • Scott Walker • Wisconsin
soundoff (120 Responses)
  1. centcoa30

    Again, these people are not pro-life, they are pro-birth. "This bill improves a woman's ability to make an informed choice that will protect her physical and mental health now and in the future," the governor's office said in a statement. That is a ridiculous statement. Prove it. Show me studies where requiring an ultrasound prior to an abortion will protect her physical and mental health now and in the future. I want to see it.

    July 5, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  2. JDL

    Why doesn't the GOP shove Bills through that produce jobs , like they shove these abortion bills through ?

    July 5, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  3. Janet

    I love one of my bumper stickers "You're Pro-Life? That's great. Now get one and stay out of mine". I think that sums it up.

    July 5, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  4. Jim

    “The health and safety of American women are at stake – " How, in the vast majority of cases, is this a matter of a woman's health? What about the health and safety of unborn babies?

    July 5, 2013 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  5. mdbill

    OK, where is the money coming from to fund the necessary healthcare and education all these unwanted children are going to need? Let's go ahead and increase the suffering of these unwanted children by underfunding all necessities required and then pat ourselves on the back for giving them the chance to suffer.

    July 5, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  6. BluegirlRedState

    This is exactly the same sort of thing they tried to pull in Idaho last year. Luckily it didn't pass there. C'mon Wisconsin.

    July 5, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  7. TheAnswer

    Planned Parenthood announced Friday it will file a lawsuit in federal court to block the law, arguing some women may now have to travel at least an extra 200 miles to have a legal abortion.

    BIG DEAL. If I want to see a Broadway show, I have to go to New York City.. should I sue Broadway because they aren't close enough to me?

    July 5, 2013 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  8. 73funkfest

    It should be this way in EVERY state. Not only Wisconsin a friendly state, they believe in LIFE!

    July 5, 2013 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  9. David L.

    It's 2013....why exactly are we STILL DISCUSSING ABORTION.....it's no one's business. If you don't want an abortion, don't have one...simple. Stop putting your morals on other people. There is absolutely nothing immoral about having an abortion......why are all these middle aged white men so obsessed over telling women what theyh can do with their bodies....just bizarre and ignorant.

    July 5, 2013 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  10. Randy, San Francisco

    The rebranded Republican Party is continuing its war against women.

    July 5, 2013 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  11. motorfirebox

    And the march against women goes on.

    July 5, 2013 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  12. SFC Mike

    Glad to see we have our priorities straight. Economy? Immigration? Afghanistan, Egypt, Syria? Naaah, not important. Micromanagin

    July 5, 2013 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  13. animapersa

    "This bill improves a woman's ability to make an informed choice that will protect her physical and mental health now and in the future,"

    That is a load of (insert your choice of matter here). If you really think that a woman is ignorantly walking into this, that it's that easy of a choice to make, you are the one's that are ignorant. The only goal is to hopefully traumatize her enough not to go through with it. Btw I am pro-life. Whatever anyone else choses, that is their choice. No one else should be allowed to make that choice for them, or to try to persuade them otherwise.

    July 5, 2013 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  14. Brandie

    It is simply amazing what a bunch of hypocrites the Liberals are. They have no qualms about the murder of unborn innocent Children.

    July 5, 2013 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  15. S.

    I'm wondering who will pay for this. What does the big business of health insurance think and does this mean we will have to pay for all medicaid patients ultrasounds?

    July 6, 2013 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  16. JJ

    This bill improves a woman's ability to make an informed choice that will protect her physical and mental health now and in the future," the governor's office said in a statement.

    Is THAT what it does? Oh, here I was thinking it just undermines any rights to autonomy a woman might have. Silly me. Lead me Gov. Walker,for apparently I know not what I do.

    Sad to see Wisconsin to take a dive back into the Dark Ages. Used to live near it.

    July 6, 2013 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  17. John

    The GOP. What an evil organization. Save the unwanted baby, but ignore it once it's born.

    July 6, 2013 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  18. Allie

    Question: Who's going to pay for these required ultrasounds? Or are you actually going to mandate that the pregnant women- many of whom are having abortions for financial reasons to begin with- fork over several hundred more dollars?

    July 6, 2013 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  19. MesaMax

    I am sure we can all agree, if this bill saves even one life, it will be worth it.

    July 6, 2013 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  20. MesaMax

    Why is Planned Parenthood using doctors without local admitting priviledges? Sounds like they are using sub-standard doctors to save money.

    July 6, 2013 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  21. Lana

    If only they would fight so hard for women's rights and equal pay, then maybe we could talk about tougher abortion law. But I guess why don't we bread more misery into misery.

    July 6, 2013 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  22. Reckless

    Everyone in Wisconsin knows what a horrible and unethical Governor he is. Even his supporters are turning away from him.

    July 6, 2013 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  23. mountainlady

    This is cruel and reveals the underlying misogyny that drives legislators. It's difficult enough for a woman to make a decision to end a pregnancy and these people want to add torture to it. I wish every single one of these men could get pregnant. If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.

    July 6, 2013 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  24. Brandon

    “The health and safety of American women are at stake" (Planned Parenthood). The new laws will make the abortion clinics safer if they have to comply with more health and safety laws. LOL

    July 6, 2013 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  25. Steve

    With all thats going on in the world, we're gonna get tougher on abortion? Seriously? What a joke.

    July 6, 2013 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
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