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. Jack

    Good. No mother should be aborting her unborn child when she doesn't even know which organs have developed in it thus far. Ignorance should never be allowed to triumph.

    July 6, 2013 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  2. Dennis

    The citizens of Wisconsin are getting exactly what they voted for. They had a special election less than a year ago to remove Walker from office, but they voted to keep him in. They get no sympathy from me. He won't stop here. He will be taking away more & more of their freedoms, shoving his morals & beliefs down their throats. Wisconsin, you brought this on yourself. Idiots!

    July 6, 2013 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  3. Tim

    These Republican nutcase governors just don't getthe message that the majority of American voters sent them last November, which was to keep their hands OFF women's bodies and women's reproductive rights. Little do the likes of Walker, Perry, and Kasich know that most women, even Republican women, will not vote for them come their next election bid. They will reap what they have sewn......

    July 6, 2013 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  4. Old Salt

    The GOP just doesn't get it. They're alienating women on the abortion issue, Hispanics on the immigration issue, blacks on the voting rights issue. Do they honestly believe there are enough old white men in America to swing an election?

    July 6, 2013 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  5. midnitejax

    Amazing !! More big government intruding into the personal lives of people. The GOP loves to dictate. If they have their way, there will be no bill of rights at all.

    July 6, 2013 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  6. Dan

    Why are men always the ones making laws controlling women?

    July 6, 2013 03:52 am at 3:52 am |
  7. K10

    Does the father also have to pay for, schedule, attend and view the ultrasound. Oh wait...

    July 6, 2013 03:54 am at 3:54 am |
  8. this is right

    Finally women are being given the truth that an unborn child is more than an intrusive foreign body. A heart beat is an indication of life, not an unwanted blob. If an abortion goes bad and the woman bleeds to death as with the woman in Philadelphia does Planned Parenthood turn its. Doctors need to have a relationship with local hospitals way to many things can go wrong. They need to start telling the truth, the original case of Roe vs. Wade was based on a lie. But that has been swept under the rug.

    July 6, 2013 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  9. Troy Schwamb

    I guess woman will have to come to a more liberal state to have an abortion without being forced to look at photos that could cause them real,"emotional trauma." So now a woman doesn't have the right NOT to look at an ultrasound. Amazes me when men are even involved in legislating a woman's body.

    July 6, 2013 04:08 am at 4:08 am |
  10. Taxpayer

    Ultrasound machines for everyone! Hurray! Thanks American taxpayer!

    July 6, 2013 04:42 am at 4:42 am |
  11. Richard

    This issue is actually rather simple. If you are not a pregnant woman seeking an abortion, or the man who got her pregnant, abortion is just plain none of your business.

    July 6, 2013 04:46 am at 4:46 am |
  12. Speak The Truth

    Once again the Republicans show their true vision of America where governments control the lives of people. Their hypocrisy makes me sick. Wake up America. Behold the true face of the Republican Party. Patriots everywhere must organize to stop them.

    July 6, 2013 05:19 am at 5:19 am |
  13. Chris

    The GOP's pledge of a laser-like focus on "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!" has turned into "Abortions, Abortions, Abortions!"

    July 6, 2013 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  14. Mathew Keirinsky

    Republican's forcing government rape and denying they have a war on woman. What you sow...

    July 6, 2013 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  15. eddie b

    the only thing walker has done that is good.

    July 6, 2013 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  16. wwf

    Odd. The GOP does not want Obama Care, stating that the Government should not require healthcare. Yet they demand it when it fits their ideology.

    July 6, 2013 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  17. Colorado

    Well thats extreme. So much for 2016.

    July 6, 2013 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  18. Shocked

    A male Republican signing a bill which limits the rights of women? Say it isn't so! I'm in shock.

    Keep it up GOP – this is why you are on the verge of losing the House and never having another Republican president. Between this continued attack on Women's Rights and your terrible stance on immigration, you will lose the female/minority vote for the foreseeable future.

    July 6, 2013 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  19. Snap

    Wow. When will the people in Wisconsin wake up. This nut case needs to go, and the sooner the better.

    July 6, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  20. GI Joe

    iS HE GETTING KICKBACKS from the ultrasound corporations? That would be my first question.

    Does he think he can make decisions for every woman in his state by forcing this unnecessary procedure?

    It sure seems to be running rampant in republican governed states. It's an invasion into the privacy between a doctor and his patient. Kick him out asap, and put in someone that will stay out of doctor's offices and bedrooms.

    July 6, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  21. Alina1

    So cruel both to unwanted child and to a poor pregnant woman..

    July 6, 2013 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  22. Bermille

    Just creating a better atmosphere to end the career of some republican politicians.

    July 6, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  23. DH

    Republicans will just not learn. They lost the female vote in 2012 and are headed the same way despite their "autopsy"

    July 6, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  24. devin

    More limits on fetalcide. It's a good day

    July 6, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  25. biglio

    always men trying to regulate women's rights......
    and always Republicans......women voters, I hope you wake up!

    July 6, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
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