In July, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker officially announced he was running for president of the United States. He said in a video announcement, “It’s time to take the successes we have created in Wisconsin and apply them to Washington. It’s time to restore the values that made our nation great.”
Many abortion opponents believe Walker would make a great president because he has gone to great lengths to de-fund Planned Parenthood and proved to be a champion for the unborn. In fact, BuzzFeed reports that the presidential hopeful has spent the last twenty years building an impressive pro-life record and working to cut funding for abortion facilities in his state.
Additionally, a headline in the 1993 Milwaukee Journal, “Support of abortion opponents is credited in Walker’s victory,” indicated that his views on abortion helped him win in previous elections. The headline was published after Walker received the Republican nomination in a primary to take a Wisconsin assembly seat. The pro-abortion Republican who ran against Walker in that race, Mary Jo Baas, said life has always been “an essential issue for him.”
She explained, “When everybody is Republican, and everybody wants lower taxes, and everybody wants school choice, and everybody wants economic development, it was an issue where he had — he was knowledgeable, he was active, he felt passionate about it, and it was at a time when the pro-life organizations could make a huge difference in the campaign.”
Walker’s other opponent, Barbara Kraetsch, said his views on abortion were “divisive” but he has not changed his position since then. She explained, “That hasn’t changed for him. I don’t know that he has necessarily modified that position in any way.” Kraetsch also mentioned that Walker works closely with Wisconsin Right to Life, the state affiliate of National Right to Life. The former executive director of the organization, Barbara Lyons, said the following about Walker: “He was always — he’s very, very sincerely in favor of life, and in favor of protection of unborn children, in favor of assisting their mothers.”
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From 1995-2002, Walker is listed on almost every piece of pro-life legislation in the Wisconsin legislature and he helped pass two important bills in the state. The first was the partial-birth abortion ban and the second was a measure that required abortionists to provide “[t]he details of the medical or surgical method that will be used in performing or inducing the abortion,” and “encourages women to view an ultrasonic image and hear the heartbeat of her unborn child before she decides to have an abortion.”
As LifeNews previously reported, in 2011, Walker made Wisconsin the fourth state in the U.S. to cut funding to the abortion business and redirect one-million dollars in state and federal family planning funds away from Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.
In the state’s 2011-2013 budget, Walker and the Legislature replaced funding for abortion services with a Women’s Health Block Grant, which only allows the Department of Health Services (DHS) to allocate funds to entities that provide legitimate women’s health care, such as “pregnancy testing, perinatal care coordination and follow-up, cervical cancer screening, sexually transmitted infection prevention, testing, treatment and follow-up, and general health screenings.”
The Legislative Director of Wisconsin Right to Life praised Walker’s efforts to de-fund Planned Parenthood. Susan Armacost said, “Governor Walker and the state legislature acted courageously to protect Wisconsin taxpayers from having their tax dollars used to destroy human life. While there is more work to be done to protect taxpayers from paying for abortions, this state budget has greatly improved the situation. On behalf of Wisconsin Right to Life members and supporters throughout the state, we extend our heartfelt thanks to Governor Walker and the legislature.”
Recently, Walker signed into law a bill that would ban abortions after 20- weeks and protect unborn babies from painful late-term abortions. In an interview with conservative talk show host Charlie Sykes, he said, “I think that’s a very rational position not only for those of us who are pro-life, but I think most people who have a rational view on this issue think those who oppose it are fairly extreme on this one.”
Gov. Walker was very instrumental in trying to get legislation passed to protect all life,” former Rep. Bonnie Ladwig told BuzzFeed News. She worked with Walker on a 1997 bill to make the performance of a partial-birth abortion a Class A felony — subjecting violators to life imprisonment. While the ban that they worked on was signed into law, its enforcement is currently enjoined — because it made exception only for abortions necessary to protect the life, and not the health, of the mother.
Most of the bills Walker backed, however, never made it out of the legislature.
Among these weremultiplebills that would have shielded from civil liability physicians who failed to inform prospective parents of fetal abnormalities that may have led the parents to choose to abort. A Walker-backed bill that would have barred providers that engage in “abortion-related activity” from participating in Wisconsin’s “volunteer health care provider program,” also failed to pass, as did several bills Walker co-sponsored that would have tightened the restrictions on public funding of organizations that perform “abortion-related activities,” or affiliate with organizations that do so.
Walker also supported an ill-fated bill that would have modified the state’s “parental consent” law. That bill would have eliminated the right of adult family members other than parents and legal guardians to sign the form granting consent for an un-emancipated minor to have an abortion, and would have required the parent’s signature to be notarized. The bill also curtailed the ability of members of the clergy to assist a minor in receiving a waiver of the parental consent requirement. Finally, the bill would have done away with an existing exception to the consent requirements, for cases when “a psychiatrist or psychologist states in writing that he or she believes that the minor is likely to commit suicide rather than seek consent or a judicial waiver.”
In addition to sponsoring or co-sponsoring legislation, Walker was the lead author on two sets of abortion-related bills. In the 1997-1998 session, Walker introduced a bill that would have placed “prohibitions on the use of public employees [sic] and public property for activities relating to abortion.”
The proposed prohibitions would have gone far beyond restricting the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion procedures.