This Politician Thinks Forced Ultrasounds Are "Cool"

Photo: REX Shutterstock.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker hasn't officially announced that he's running for president, but he's already talking about restricting women's reproductive rights like a frontrunner. During a radio interview last week, the republican said his decision to sign a bill requiring women to get ultrasounds before an abortion regardless of whether it's medically necessary was good, because ultrasound photos are "lovely" and "a cool thing."

“Most people I talked to, whether they’re pro-life or not, I find people all the time that pull out their iPhone and show me a picture of their grandkids’ ultrasound and how excited they are, so that’s a lovely thing," Walker said. The pictures the two-term governor is referring to often come from a procedure that involves inserting a probe into a woman's vagina, which might not be so lovely for victims of trauma. "It’s just a cool thing out there,” he said.

Walker has already signed four bills restricting women's reproductive rights in Wisconsin, and he's said that he would support a ban on all 20-week abortions. The state's legislature just introduced such a bill, so Wisconsin will almost certainly join the other 10 states in the country with similar bans. This version would only allow doctors to end pregnancies in cases of medical emergency, and doctors could face jail time if they ran afoul of the law.

During his reelection campaign last year, Walker ran a deeply misleading ad about his position on abortion. In it, he suggested that reproductive decisions should be made by women and their doctors. His current push to crush as much abortion access as possible before dedicating himself to a presidential primary could be a reaction to that ad and backlash it received.

There is no reputable science that supports a 20-week abortion ban. Fetuses are not considered viable outside the womb until at least 24 weeks, and studies sugesting that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks have been widely, repeatedly debunked.

A bill that prevents all abortion except in the case of medical emergency could force a woman carrying a baby with catastrophic genetic defects to term, even if the baby couldn't survive. Forcing some women to undergo medically unnecessary procedures and forcing others to carry doomed pregancies to term doesn't sound lovely at all.
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