As Robin Marty reports, the attacks on women’s rights under Gov. Scott Walker’s (R-WI) administration has been relentless, which is why there is so much at stake for women in his recall election. And that may be why he is doing all he can to shy away from the major legislative accomplishments under his tenure.
First, he quietly signed away equal pay protections. Now he’s done the same with insurance coverage for abortions and mandatory abstinence-only education. Among the more than 50 bills signed Thursday and Friday includes measure that bans abortion coverage in insurance policies purchased through the health insurance exchange that will be created under federal health care reform starting in 2014.
The insurance coverage ban assumes a woman is able to access an abortion to begin with, not at all a clear assumption since Walker also signed into law a bill that mandates that a woman seeking an abortion must undergo an exam and consult with a doctor alone, away from her friends and family. The doctor must determine whether someone is pressuring the woman into the procedure. Doctors who break the law could be charged with a felony.
Wisconsin also enacted a bill that mandates teachers in schools that offer sex education must stress abstinence as the only sure way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. It declares that sex education teachers do not have to address contraception. That’s a dramatic shift from current state law, which requires teachers to instruct students on birth control options.
With the recall elections just two months away, we can expect to see more scrutiny of Walker’s record, a fact that must be making the Wisconsin governor a little nervous these days. I mean, with all these massive conservative victories, wouldn’t Walker want to hit the trail with these successes rather than sign them into law without as much as a press release?
Photo from WisPolitics via flickr.
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