Reproductive rights

Scott Walker says women are only concerned with rape and incest in “initial months” of pregnancy

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Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker declared he is ready to sign into law a 20-week abortion ban without any exceptions for victims of rape or incest — arguing that women are only concerned with those issues “in the initial months” of pregnancy. Walker, who is widely expected to run for president, would not definitively say where he stood on a 20-week abortion ban last year, while he was running for re-election as governor. Earlier this year, however, he publicly backed such legislation, including at the federal level, as did  nearly every other Republican presidential hopeful. The bill currently under consideration in Wisconsin includes penalties of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of 3 1/2 years for anyone convicted of performing an abortion after 20 weeks. Talking about the legislation to local television station WKOW, he said, “I mean, I think for most people who are concerned about that, it’s in the initial months where they’re most concerned about it,” when asked about cases of rape and incest. “In this case, again, it’s an unborn life, it’s an unborn child, and that’s why we feel strongly about it. I’m prepared to sign it either way that they send it to us.” Similar 20-week abortion bans have already been passed in 14 states, and have been heavily criticized by pro-choice groups. They argue that the rare circumstances for these late-term abortions are being ignored as they make up only 1.5 percent of all abortions, and most cases involve women who discover fetal abnormalities at a later stage, women who do not learn they are pregnant until after the 20-week mark, or low-income women who cannot afford to pay for the procedure.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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