Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Privately Signs Anti-Abortion, Sex Ed Laws

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker has privately signed a series of controversial bills aimed at curbing access to abortion and sex education. The first bill bans most abortion coverage under policies obtained through a health insurance exchange set to be created under the Obama administration’s healthcare reform law, allowing coverage only for rape, incest or medical necessity. A second bill requires every woman seeking an abortion to meet privately with a doctor and undergo an exam before the procedure so the doctor can ensure she is not being pressured. Doctors who violate the law could be charged with a felony. A third bill requires teachers in schools that offer sex education to stress abstinence and says they no longer need to address contraception. Wisconsin’s current law requires some instruction on birth control options. Walker signed the bills Thursday, but did not announce the move until the next day on Good Friday, when his office released a list of about 50 bills he had recently signed. Democrats slammed Walker for signing the laws in private and for attacking the rights of women. Among the other bills Walker signed was a repeal of the state’s Equal Pay Enforcement Act, which gave women and other marginalized groups more power to fight wage discrimination. According to the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health, women in Wisconsin make 75 cents for every dollar men earn.

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