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. SuZieCoyote

    Young women, if you value your freedom, you'd better pay attention. Controlling your reproduction is only the first step. These folks have a plan for you, and it isn't likely the plan you have for yourself. If you find yourself with no control over your own bodies, think back to the last time you said...."I'm not a feminist, but........" and rethink.

    July 5, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  2. ed light

    The same conservatives who (falsely)claim that Obamacare is government interference in the doctor-patient relationship enthusiastically cheer actual government interference in the relationship between doctor and patient.

    July 5, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  3. Admitone

    Hurray for Wisconsin and their legislature! I grew up in Marshfield, Wisconsin (now living in San Jose, California), and I am very proud of my home state for enacting this legislation which will give a mother what she needs in order to make a fully informed decision. God bless you!

    July 5, 2013 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  4. Jody P.

    Tea/Republicans! They want smaller government, one that stays out of peoples' lives. Then they go and pass laws telling women what to do with their bodies. Hypocritical neo-fascists.

    July 5, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  5. ChirsC

    These republican governors have no idea the irrevocable damage they are inflecting on the republican party.
    So true

    July 5, 2013 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  6. LivinginVA

    "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,"

    Then why the exclusions for rape or incest? Oh, right, because this actually has nothing to do with health of any sort and the governor is lying.

    July 5, 2013 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  7. Michael Grant

    That's OK it's not a human anyway; at least according to the pro-abortion supporters. So seeing the non-human on a screen and hearing the heartbeat should not deter anyone from getting an abortion. It should just reinforce the decision of the woman who has had their body violated by this fetus/embryo/zygote that it is not a human and it is OK to terminate the pregnancy. I would think that the pro-abortion activists would support this legislation and law, it should reinforce medically and scientifically what they have been telling us about what is in-utero.

    July 5, 2013 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  8. barbarianofgor

    I'd care more that our economy is still sputtering, that good jobs get scabbed by illegals or sent overseas at a huge loss then patched by tax subsidies. These Republicans are pathetic, broken records, but they try so hard to do damage on top of their incompetence.

    July 5, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  9. Mr Duckworth

    God speed to all who Fight for the innocent unborn children.

    July 5, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  10. Jabbadahut

    Score one for common sense!

    July 5, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  11. glorydays

    Stay the hell out of my private life you creeps. Vote every one of them out of office.

    July 5, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  12. vinc

    if only these people care about the livinig poor.JESUS came for the poor,He talked so much about poor.But these Men concentrate so much about children not born yet.
    i will like to see programs to help these women through after having these kids.i forgot they are aganist social programs

    July 5, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  13. pat

    it's truly amazing. Republicans have shouted from the roof tops how the affordable care act is a law that allows the government to come between a doctor and his/her patient. What do the governors think these restrictions do!

    July 5, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  14. Flagship, NC

    He...requires women to undergo a forced ultrasound on her body. Sounds like "ULTRASOUND RAPE" to me!
    This guy is sick!

    July 5, 2013 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  15. Odo

    POliticians should not be in the business of mandating that people have, and pay for, unnecessary medical tests. LET THE DOCTORS DECIDE

    July 5, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  16. Jeff

    How sad. Once again, insecure, angry men (mostly) are acting out in tantrum-like fashion. Funny, every single conversation I have with an anti-choice person ends the same. Ultimately, it's not about "the baby" (aka fetus), "human life" and certainly not about the woman's health. After they realize that I'm not buying the strawmen and red herrings, they expose their motivation for what it is: it's about "making her pay" for the act that got her pregnant. These folks are far more suited to the job of mullah in some central Asian hell hole than they are for the job of supposed leaders of an enlightened society.

    July 5, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  17. C. Baxter

    This is one of the worst cases of "bullying" that I have ever seen! We teach our children not to be a bully and to step in if they see someone getting bullied and here we have grown adults "bullying" women into not getting an abortion!! The third paragraph is like reading something out of a horror book! Whether abortion is right or wrong, this tactic is definitely WRONG!!!

    July 5, 2013 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  18. Ken Jensen

    This is just an astoundingly cruel law... why the need to humiliate ???

    July 5, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  19. Tim

    Republicans imposing Government on the people. Again.

    July 5, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  20. racegirl1

    If these people don't want abortions why not just develop something we can give men so they can not produce sperm. This way you don't have to worry, their must be some female doctors willing to do research to come up with a method. Then let's see if all of these men will approve that.

    July 5, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  21. Essie

    Glad to hear about this bill. Women can be very misinformed about the stages of their babies' development, so anything that helps them be more informed (and hopefully help them decided to keep the child) is good news.

    July 5, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  22. California

    Most democrats support ALL forms of abortion including partial birth abortions and even the Gosnell type which is the after born.

    Will democrats call it an abortion up to the babies first birthday?

    July 5, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  23. jake

    all this money wasted on passing restrictive abortion laws – which will all be overturned in federal court. abortion is legal. the teapublican party needs to move on or they will become a marginal party by 2016.........

    July 5, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  24. Wonderful

    Way to go Wisconsin! I applaud your human rights progress to protect our most vulnerable members of the human race! The United States is one of the biggest violators of human rights by allowing the abortion of a human baby for nearly any reason without giving much thought as removing a skin tag from ones body.

    July 5, 2013 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  25. Dr. Mercado

    I agree. If the woman is trying to play the game of no see – no foul, then I can only say this would intensify the support for an abortion should a woman really want one. I think if she sees a living baby, and knows about it and then refuses it, then she truly can proceed.

    July 5, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
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