You might have thought it was bad enough that 2016 Republican presidential candidate and Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker is going to sign a bill banning abortion after 20 weeks with no exceptions for incest or life of the mother.
But it gets worse.
Laura Bassett of the Huffington Post (published on MSN ) pointed out that the bill contains a “less-discussed provision that would allow the father to sue the doctor for ’emotional and psychological distress’ if he disagrees with the abortion, regardless of his relationship with the woman having the procedure.”
So, a woman breaks up with a man, finds out she’s pregnant with his baby, decides to keep the pregnancy even though he wants nothing to do with it, eventually gets really sick with a life-threatening complication and needs a later term abortion but can’t get one — and, to make matters worse, if she found a doctor who was willing to help her save her own life, the disinterested father could sue the doctor for emotional damages.
Talk about scaring doctors away from helping women. That will do it.
Though unlike other Republican bills on abortion that incentivize rape, this one – while incentivizing rapists by giving them the power to force a woman to carry the result of their crime to term, thus giving the rapist the one thing rapists are after, which is control – the Wisconsin bill won’t let the rapist sue the doctor.
Such rare humanity in the Republican Party is to be applauded. Also if one is a Josh Duggar type who committed incest, they can’t sue the doctor of their victim according to this bill. So while Republicans won’t condemn Josh Duggar, they can agree that the perpetrator can be rewarded for his crime via a forced pregnancy, but they draw the line at the predator suing the doctor over their emotional distress if the woman were to terminate.
Quite a moral line in the sand.
Incest is not wrong enough to let a woman terminate a pregnancy resulting from it after 20 weeks, according to this bill that Walker will sign, but a perpetrator can’t profit financially off of a doctor helping her do it.
So to sum up the Republican position: Defending and covering up incest is something to be forgiven, but doctors don’t dare try to save a woman’s life. That will get them in deep trouble, as in up to a $10,000 fine and 3.5 years in jail and that’s not counting the financial hit if the “father” sues.
Walker justifies his willingness to sign this bill by saying that he believes, contrary to medical science, that the fetus can feel pain at this point. Apparently he does not believe that a woman who is dying from tragic medical complications resulting from her pregnancy can feel pain, or that being raped by a family member might give one enough pain that they would rather not be forced to carry the reminder around for 9 months.
This is going to be hard to explain while running for president, but maybe Walker is so short-sighted he only has eyes for the nomination. In reality, it looks like Scott Walker is not really running for president but rather is running for vice president/bringer-of-the-GOP-extremists-to-the-voting-polls.
It should be pointed out that Walker refused to tell voters where he stood on this issue during the gubernatorial election. We are supposed to only tell you that and leave it there, because there is no “evidence” otherwise. However, history and human nature tells us that if a candidate won’t answer, it’s because you wouldn’t like the answer. Now we have the proof.
Remember this when next you meet a “moderate” Republican.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.