OSHKOSH — Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has signed a bill that outlaws non-emergency abortions at or beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Walker signed the bill on Monday, July 20th -- one week after he officially launched his campaign for president. Wisconsin becomes the 15th state with a 20-week abortion ban.
Under the new law, doctors who perform an abortion at or after 20 weeks in non-emergency situations could face up to $10,000 in fines and 3½ years in prison. Doctors could also be sued for damages.
"I think this is one of those where even for those, certainly for me as someone, my family's pro-life, but regardless of people -- where they might stand, when an unborn child can feel pain, I think most people feel that it's appropriate to protect that child," Governor Walker said.
The law's supporters say fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks and the measure will spare them the agony of being killed. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, however, says fetuses can't feel pain until the third trimester begins at 27 weeks.
Governor Walker signed two other bills into law on Monday. Details are as follows:
Senate Bill 205 – Covers employees in the public safety collective bargaining unit, and authorizing an expenditure of funds. This bill was introduced by the Joint Committee on Employment Relations, chaired by Senator Mary Lazich (R–New Berlin) and Representative Robin Vos (R-Rochester). The bill passed the Senate 33-0 and passed the Assembly 94-0; it is Act 57.
Senate Bill 206 – Relates to statutory changes to reflect the intent of the state compensation plan. This bill was introduced by the Joint Committee on Employment Relations, chaired by Senator Mary Lazich (R–New Berlin) and Representative Robin Vos (R-Rochester). The bill passed the Senate 19-14 and passed the Assembly 64-30; it is Act 58.