Scott Walker signing away collective bargaining rights.
Now he's signing women's rights away, but in private. (Darren Hauck/Reuters)
Last Thursday, Scott Walker quietly repealed Wisconsin's equal pay law, sneaking in the bill signing just before his deadline for action, and without fanfare. His office sent a press release out on Friday listing the 50 bills he'd signed the day before, hoping perhaps to hide this little bomb.
But that's not the only stealth attack on women Walker enacted on Thurday. He signed three other bills, rolling back women's rights:
The first bill bans abortion coverage through policies obtained through a health insurance exchange, set to be created under the federal health care reform law starting in 2014. The only exceptions would be in cases of rape, incest or medical necessity. [...]
The second bill requires a woman seeking an abortion to 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. [...]
The sex education bill requires teachers in schools that offer sex education to stress abstinence as the only sure way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
The bill also 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.
Yes, he banned private coverage of abortion—that's disallowing any insurance company operating in the state's future exchange from offering abortion coverage, which the federal law unfortunately allows. The second bill, Republicans argued, would prevent something that actually doesn't happen—webcam consultations between women and their doctors. There are criminal penalties attached for physicians who don't conduct the additional, unnecessary consultation. The Wisconsin Medical Society opposed the bill because it interferes with the doctor-patient relationship. And rounding out the parade of backward-thinking, keeping children in the dark about their sexual health.
Scott Walker tried to push these bills through on the sly. Don't let him. This information is critical for Wisconsinites, particularly women, to know before the recall election on June 5.
Make sure the word gets out by sharing this story over Facebook and Twitter or with your friends and family in Wisconsin. And make a $5 donation to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin to take the bill-signing pen out of his hand.