WI Abortion Bill Would Allow Men to Sue Abortion Doctors for Damages

Illustration for article titled WI Abortion Bill Would Allow Men to Sue Abortion Doctors for Damages

During his 2014 reelection campaign, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker disingenuously represented himself as being moderately pro-life when, in fact, he is an anti-abortion extremist. Anyone familiar with his politics and voting record were aware of this duplicity; however, less educated and less informed voters were presented with a Walker who, while being against abortion, was also level-headed and reasonable. Again, this version of Scott Walker is a lie.

“I’m pro-life,” he says in a 2014 campaign ad. “But there’s no doubt in my mind that the decision whether or not to end a pregnancy is an agonizing one. That’s why I support legislation to increase safety and to provide more information for a woman considering her options. The bill leaves the final decision to a woman and her doctor.”


Jump ahead to 2015 and Walker is publicly bragging about defunding Planned Parenthood and stating that he is ready to sign legislation that will ban abortion after 20 weeks, even in cases of rape and incest.

In a March 3 open letter, Walker wrote:

In my past four years as governor, we have made substantial progress in the fight for our pro-life values in Wisconsin We defunded Planned Parenthood. We prohibited abortion from being covered by health plans in a health exchange. We passed legislation assuring the women and their unborn child are better protected under law – through placing stringent requirements on medical professionals and requiring the provision of thorough and vital information to the mother.

As the Wisconsin legislature moves forward in the coming session, further protections for mother and child are likely to come to my desk in the form of a bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. I will sign that bill when it gets to my desk and support similar legislation on the federal level.

The bill Walker mentions—Wisconsin Assembly Bill 237—will be voted on by the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services this Thursday and will likely, according to Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinel, “reach Walker’s desk before the Senate and Assembly begin floor debate on the state budget this month.”

As for Walker’s deep respect for women’s relationship with their doctors, Wisconsin Assembly Bill 237 also provides a provision that, as the Huffington Post points out, would allow fathers to sue doctors who perform abortions on their partners after 20 weeks:

If the bill becomes law, doctors who perform an abortion after this time could be charged with a felony and fined up to $10,000, or face up to three and a half years in prison.

In addition to those penalties, the bill would allow the father to sue the doctor for damages, “including damages for personal injury and emotional and psychological distress,” if the doctor performs or attempts to perform an abortion after the 20-week limit. The man does not need to be married to the woman or even in a relationship with her to sue her doctor, as long as the pregnancy is not a result of sexual assault or incest. The bill also says the woman can sue.

Pro-choice advocates are reasonably pissed, as is the medical community. As Planned Parenthood’s Nicole Safar told the Journal Sentinel, “The medical community uniformly opposes this bill because it prevents physicians from providing individualized care to patients based on their own medical circumstances.”

This is the real Scott Walker: Tremendously conservative, extremely dangerous, and—worst of all—gunning for the White House in 2016.


Contact the author at madeleine@jezebel.com.

Image via Getty.


I just can’t get over these troglodytes who equate a fertilized egg – a blastocyst – with a “child” whose imaginary rights trump the rights – and even the life – of a full-grown woman.

Their arguments have nothing to do with life, and everything with reducing women to the role of incubator while filling the world with future burger-flippers and uneducated voters.