Another Holiday Weekend Bill Signing for Scott Walker, With Forced Ultrasound Law

On Friday, Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed AB 227, a forced ultrasound bill that will also require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. The news, which came during the long Independence Day weekend, was followed immediately by an announcement from the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Wisconsin, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin that the groups will seek to block the new law because it could close two of the state’s four clinics.

In 2012, Gov. Walker also signed major anti-choice legislation in the lead-in to a holiday weekend. The state’s telemedicine abortion ban was signed on a Thursday and announced the following day, on Good Friday, a move reproductive rights activists panned as an attempt to push through his “anti-women agenda in secret.” The difference then is that a lawsuit was not quite as quick to follow.

“Signing this legislation privately on a holiday weekend is another example of Walker’s attempt avoid public outcry against the extreme anti-choice agenda he is advancing,” Jenni Dye, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin, told RH Reality Check. “However, it is not surprising that he does not want to publicly stand by legislation that is wildly unpopular.”

“Hiding his anti-choice actions from the public is a pattern for Walker,” continued Dye. “But Gov. Walker can’t have it both ways. He can’t pretend to be a moderate to advance his political ambitions, and then quietly sign extreme and invasive restrictions on women’s access to abortion care. Wisconsinites deserve to know what their government is doing, and we will make sure that they do.”

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