Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will join the presidential race later today, adding to the growing list of 2016 GOP hopefuls. Governor Walker is one of thirteen declared and likely candidates to support the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
Last Thursday, the Wisconsin legislature sent that very bill to Governor Walker’s desk and he is expected to sign it promptly. Walker already has a strong record of supporting pro-life, pro-woman policies in Wisconsin. Under his leadership, the state of Wisconsin no longer funds abortion giant Planned Parenthood, and health care plans on the state exchanges do not cover abortion on-demand.
But the Pain-Capable bill is landmark legislation that would, for the first time, protect an entire class of unborn children in the state of Wisconsin. To sign this legislation will be the right thing to do – both morally and politically.
Following the State Assembly’s vote on the bill, Politico’s Kyle Cheney wrote a piece headlined: “Scott Walker’s timely abortion victory,” with the sub heading: “On the eve of his presidential announcement, the Wisconsin governor gets a political gift.”
Politico gets it right. Polls consistently show that Americans support a ban on abortions after five months of pregnancy, when an unborn child can demonstrably feel pain.
Sixty percent of women voters support a 20-week ban. The legislation is also popular with young people (57 percent support to 38 percent opposed) and Hispanic voters (59 percent support to 20 percent opposed). Even Democrats are evenly split on the bill, with 46 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed.
Wisconsin is the first “purple state” to pass this legislation, but it won’t be the last. And momentum is building for the federal version of this legislation. In his letter from March 2015, Walker promised that, if elected President, he would support the nationwide law as well. He wrote: “I will sign [the Pain-Capable] bill when it gets to my desk and support similar legislation on the federal level.”
Welcome to the race, Governor Walker, and thank you for standing up for the unborn and women not only in Wisconsin, but across America.
Marjorie Dannenfelser is the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a national pro-life organization dedicated to electing leaders and advancing legislation to reduce and ultimately end abortion.