Scott Walker: Doctors Can Lie To Pregnant Women So They Won’t Get Abortions

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker hasn’t made an official announcement that he’ll run for president yet, but he’s been traveling to early primary states and being awfully suggestive in his dialogue.

Scott Walker (or any Republican) in the White House would be terrifying, especially for women who want to make informed choices about their healthcare and bodies. But under Walker’s watch, malpractice would be perfectly okay – and encouraged.

Currently, doctors in Gov. Walker’s state are legally required to inform a pregnant woman if they come across something troubling. For example, an obstetrician who discovers a woman’s fetus has a very serious developmental disability during an ultrasound is legally required to inform the patient.

Rep. Walker believes those life-changing facts are unnecessary, and he has a long history of introducing bills that encourage doctors to withhold such information in order to prevent them from getting an abortion.

Walker first demonstrated his lack of ethics on this subject in 1997, when he and 34 other lawmakers introduced a bill called AB 538. The law at that time stated that if a doctor withheld information about a fetal disability while the pregnancy could still be terminated, then he/she could be responsible for the child’s future medical expenses. The purpose of AB 538 was to save doctors from that liability. The bill read:

“This bill creates an immunity from a wrongful birth or wrongful life action for a person who commits an act or fails to commit an act and that act or omission results in the birth of a child because a woman did not undergo an abortion that she would have undergone had the person not committed the act or not failed to commit the act.”

Fortunately, AB 538 didn’t pass, but Walker wasn’t discouraged in his plight to prevent abortions. Four years later, he and 28 lawmakers re-introduced the very same revision under bill AB 360. Fortunately, it was also shot down.

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We were lucky that those unethical, shady anti-abortion bills didn’t make it into law, but they are hardly the only pro-life legislation Walker has supported. In 1997, Walker introduce a bill that banned partial birth abortions – and this bill was actually passed. In 1998, Walker introduced “conscience clause” legislation which enabled doctors to deny their patients services (such as contraception) if they didn’t personally agree with it. The bill failed, but Walker was tenacious, he re-introduced it in 1999 and in 2001, where it failed a second and third time.

Fifteen years later, very little has changed. Walker still promises,“I’m pro-life. My position is consistent on that.” In 2013, Walker signed an ultrasound bill that ensures women seeking abortions can see the fetus inside them on an ultrasound. That bill also resulted in the closing of several abortion clinics. Currently, the governor’s website states:

Our family believes in the sanctity of all human life – from conception to natural death. I am 100% pro-life.

In my campaign for governor, I am proud to have been endorsed by Wisconsin Right to Life, which recognized my long commitment to right to life issues and noted that my election “would greatly contribute to building a culture of life where the most vulnerable members of the human family are welcomed and protected.”

I was also endorsed by Pro-Life Wisconsin which said that a Walker Administration “will have far-reaching, positive effects for Wisconsin citizens who value the dignity of all innocent human life.”

For someone who values dignity, Walker doesn’t seem to have much of it – lying to pregnant women about what’s going on inside their bodies is a sleazy pro-life tactic and completely unethical.

Featured image courtesy of Michael Vadon, Wikipedia.