Walker: I'll sign a ban on late-term abortions

Dude, he’s running. Scott Walker penned an open letter to the pro-life Susan B. Anthony’s List that commits Walker to signing a ban on abortions after the 20th week of gestation, similar to a law passed in Texas two years ago. “I was raised to believe in the sanctity of life,” Walker’s letter concludes, “and I will always fight to protect it”:

Life is a value I learned from my parents, and it’s a value I have cherished every day, predating my time in politics. My policies throughout my career have earned a 100% rating with pro-life groups in Wisconsin. Just in my first term I signed numerous pieces of pro-life legislation and I will continue working for every life.

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.

I was raised to believe in the sanctity of life and I will always fight to protect it.

The Hill notes that this letter comes after some trepidation in pro-life circles over Walker’s commitment to the cause:

Some anti-abortion activists were upset when Walker ran an ad in the closing days of that campaign calling abortion an “agonizing decision” and promising the other abortion measures he’d signed leave “the final decision to a woman and her doctor.”

He also drew some heat in pro-life circles for a Fox News appearance last week when he said banning abortion is “not a change you can make — the Supreme Court ultimately has made that” — referring to the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade that ruled abortion legal.

He’d also been quiet on abortion during the 2014 gubernatorial campaign, which saw him elected to his second term by roughly the same percentage as he won his first election and then the recall challenge. Walker also played coy with right-to-work legislation last year and even into the first weeks of 2015. However, he pledged to sign the right-to-work legislation after the Republican-controlled legislature made it one of their priorities.

Both of these bills will boost his standing with conservatives nationally, but may complicate matters in a general election, if only on the basis of firing up organized opposition. The RTW bill will produce a huge union response, while the late-term abortion ban will energize feminists and could potentially revive the hopeless “war on women” meme. Neither should be a big worry for Republicans, or for Walker either, who decisively beat both three times in the purple state of Wisconsin over the last four-plus years. Large majorities of American voters support both bills in concept.

Don’t expect that Democrats will have learned a lesson about the “war on women” flop of 2014 and the extremist position of abortion on demand until birth. Some, like Al Franken, will continue to call voters who back this common-sense limitation on abortion names like “meatheads,” as he did at last night’s EMILY’s List dinner, where he also apologized for “being a guy”:

Franken doesn’t need to apologize for “being a guy.” Minnesota needs to apologize for him being a Senator.