Wisconsin governor signs tougher abortion bill
July 5th, 2013
07:19 PM ET
10 years 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. Rick McDaniel

    There goes lots of GOP votes for the mid terms.

    July 5, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  2. Denise

    Roe v. Wade is getting dismantled

    July 5, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  3. joe

    Where do people get off crawling up inside a woman's body and writing laws about what she has to do. These republicans are disgusting. They want to control a woman's body with the law. Bunch of hypocrites.

    July 5, 2013 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  4. John

    Smaller Government in our lives is what the GOP preaches and fails to deliever. In other words, they are just lying once again.Isn't it time we make them accountable for their actions? Vote them out of existance.

    July 5, 2013 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  5. steven harnack

    It's starting to be a cycle. The GOP passes invasive laws that repel women, minorities and the educated, then they have to enact some voting laws to keep those people from voting, while they pass some more abhorrent bills, then they have to remap the voting districts, on and on and on......

    July 5, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  6. JRJ

    I agree that abortion is extreme and that we do not want to return to the back alley days, but we need to apply reason, not emotion to the solution.

    July 5, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  7. craig

    Why are we surprised? The GOP has openly declared war, so seeing their soldiers out in the field attacking their enemy should be no surprise. The ultimate question remains unresolved...will the voters get mad enough to throw them out, or will these issues force the Supreme Court to make a decision. At this point in time, I'm betting the election will happen first, and it could well be a blood-bath. The moderates, assuming there are any left, are hiding and leaderless. The extremists will win the GOP primaries, and then get slaughtered in the general elections as more and more voters see what's happened.

    July 5, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  8. California Gary

    So.......he and other GOP governors are signing these laws to "help" women? You will have trouble selling that idea to most women, who don't seem to feel there is room in their most private of decisions for the government to get involved. Whatever happened to those Republicans that believe in "no government intrusion" in people's lives?

    July 5, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  9. beernpizzalover

    This world's got seven Billion plus people on it...
    We need to make it easier – not tougher – to end an unwanted pregnancy!

    July 5, 2013 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  10. Matt

    I am assuming they have done the math but how much is it going to cost the woman to have the ultrasound now that she wasn't previously going to have to have? Is this another ploy by the insurance companies and hospitals to rake in more money? Just a thought. It isn't my decision to have an abortion nor should it be and I haven't been in a position where it has ever been a consideration so take my comments for what they are worth but I think politicians should keep their ideals out of the reproductive rights of women.

    July 5, 2013 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  11. Edwin

    I live in Wisconsin, and all I can say is – I'm sorry. This is not what Wisconsin stands for... but it IS what the party in power stands for: not for jobs, not for freedom, but for government intrusions that are designed not to educate but to cause guilt and shame.

    July 5, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  12. GiveMeABreak

    This is an absurd law much of which be stricken because it is an invasion of privacy between a woman and her healthcare provider. The provisions requiring that physicians performing abortion have admitting privileges will stand, and actually is a very reasonable requirement. WI lawmakers and the Governor are showing themselves to be legal id10ts.

    July 5, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  13. Liz the First

    This is intimidation, pure and simple. the state has no business interfering in a decision that should be between a woman, her doctor, and her family. this is not being done to protect women's health. that is a blatant lie. repugs love to talk about freedom, but they only mean people are free to do what the repugs like. if you want to do something they don't like, like getting an abortion or marrying someone you love whose plumbing happens to match yours, then all of a sudden that freedom disappears. time for the country to put the American Taliban out of business!

    July 5, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  14. Alex

    The GOP decry Obamacare because they claim that it puts government between a doctor and patient, yet they are the ones who are legislating what tests a doctor must preform and what a doctor must tell a patient. These GOP legislators and governors are practicing medicine without a license.

    July 5, 2013 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  15. snowboarder

    abortion should be safe, legal and rare. abortion is only a symptom of the problem. unwanted pregnancies are the real problem. please deal with their cause.

    July 5, 2013 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  16. Humanist999

    Time for hospitals, doctors, and clinicians, to take a stand: Easy remedy: Allow all doctors from any clinic allowing abortions, to be classified as “exterior staff”, work with them to ensure all “opportunities” put in place are met; in short, MAKE IT HAPPEN. It’s up to YOU. Do not let the politicians of the “so called conservative abortion agenda”, albeit “out of touch agenda”, get the better of us all, and women in particular. Hospital Administrations – do what you must.

    July 5, 2013 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  17. Larry

    Thank you Scott Walker – democrats all over American thank you. Its Republicans like you that make electing our candidates to high office so easy – appreciate you so much:)

    July 5, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  18. RobGA

    With so many problems facing our society. men in government seem to spend all their time devising ways to curb women's control over their own bodies. Women as property – back to the 14th century!

    July 5, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  19. BigTBone

    meh. women are powerless against the right wing control machine. They better speak up while they can still vote.

    (Perhaps our state's saving grace is a trampy governor. South Carolina looks halfway normal next to NC, TX, OH and now WI.)

    July 5, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  20. Wesam

    I just hope the Democrats can come up with a real candidate (NOT TOM BARRETT) next time around. If not, we have to put up with this nut another four years.

    July 5, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  21. MashaSobaka

    The Republicans are driving their party even further into the grave with nonsense like this. Politicians with no medical background need to STAY OUT of medical issues. PERIOD.

    July 5, 2013 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  22. Liz

    Another sad day for another state in America....Maybe its time women lawmakers fight back by coming up with ridiculous BS for men to go through under the guise of "protecting" them from themselves.

    July 5, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  23. akmike65

    Who is paying for the required, but medically unnecessary additional procedures? What qualifies legislators to even think they are protecting women's physical or emotional health, when the obvious intent is to increase stress on already fragile pregnant women.

    July 5, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  24. myintx

    Good bill. We need to do whatever we can to save the lives of the unborn

    July 5, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  25. InformedChoice

    Great. Let those who have abortions make an informed choice. Who can be against that, except those who like to hide the ugly facts behind abortion like Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry that stands to make millions.

    July 5, 2013 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
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