Gov. Scott Walker is the son of a preacher and freely discusses his faith when it serves his political interests. While running for Milwaukee County Executive and Governor, the subject of Walker’s personal faith was little discussed by the candidate. But as he courts the votes of religious conservatives to advance his political ambition Scott Walker has plenty to say.
Have decisions to try to repeal or undermine state law requiring contraceptive equity and lawsuits to block marriage equality been informed by his faith or his political ambition? It’s open to debate.
What’s clear is when Scott Walker strays away from the Christianity he was raised with he’s on shakier ground, like the time he signed off on a letter to a Jewish constituent with “molotov.”
WALKER RHETORIC: “I’ve always been pro-life and I’ve got a position I think is consistent with many Americans out there.”[One Wisconsin Now, 08/06/2015]
After being criticized by right-wing power brokers for a 2014 ad in which he moderated his stance on abortion, Gov. Scott Walker has quickly moved to sign the dangerous abortion ban he asked lawmakers to pass without exceptions for rape or incest.[One Wisconsin Now, 07/20/2015]
Speaking straight to camera in a television ad for his 2014 gubernatorial election, Scott Walker in his own words told Wisconsin he supported leaving, “the final decision to a woman and her doctor.” After being criticized for the ad by right-wing power brokers he needs to win the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, Gov. Scott Walker called for a new abortion ban in Wisconsin. The State Assembly gave final passage to that ban today and in the process interfered in the intensely personal decisions of women to terminate a wanted pregnancy and put their judgment before medical professionals to boost Gov. Walker’s political ambition.[One Wisconsin Now, 07/09/2015]
Gov. Scott Walker said Monday he will sign a proposed 20-week abortion ban whether or not it includes an exemption for cases of rape or incest. Walker, who had previously expressed support for the bill that's on a fast track in the Wisconsin Legislature, said it didn't matter whether there was an exemption. As introduced, there is none in the bill.[Associated Press, 06/01/2015]
In a recent radio interview nationally recognized women’s reproductive health expert, Dr. Douglas Laube, said the new abortion ban proposed by legislative Republicans and supported by Gov. Scott Walker (Assembly Bill 237/Senate Bill 179) could force a woman terminating a pregnancy to save her life to undergo an invasive cesarean section (c-section) surgery that dramatically increases the chance of injury to or death of the mother.[One Wisconsin Now, 05/29/2015]
Thousands of Wisconsinites have signed a One Wisconsin Now petition demanding Gov. Walker cease having Wisconsin do business with Indiana in light of the Hoosier state’s unprecedented attack on the LGBT community signed into law by Republican Gov. Mike Pence.[One Wisconsin Now, 04/03/2015]
“A federal judge on Friday struck down a Wisconsin law requiring doctors performing abortions to get hospital-admitting privileges, concluding that the measure was enacted primarily to provide an obstacle for women seeking abortions. U.S. District Judge William Conley, who earlier had put the law on hold, ruled that the 2013 law is unconstitutional. He issued a permanent injunction blocking its enforcement. "The only reasonable conclusion is that the legislation was motivated by an improper purpose, namely to restrict the availability of abortion services in Wisconsin," Conley wrote.”[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 03/20/2015]
One Wisconsin Now is warning New Hampshire voters to beware this weekend when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker visits to audition for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination. Behind Walker’s rhetoric of economic recovery and courageous, principled action is a trail of deceit, cronyism, corruption and incompetence that includes a sagging state economy, mismanaged budgets, criminal investigations and payoffs to special interests – topped off with politically expedient flip-flops pandering to the most extreme Tea Party wing of the GOP.[One Wisconsin Now, 03/15/2015]
“Shifting his tone to reassure social conservatives, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker declared Tuesday that he intends to sign a state law in the coming months that bans abortion after 20 weeks. In an open letter to the Susan B. Anthony List, the likely Republican presidential candidate also said that he supports “similar legislation” now stalled in Congress. “My policies throughout my career have earned a 100 percent rating with pro-life groups in Wisconsin,” Walker writes. “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.”[Politico, 03/03/2015]
“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...We prohibited abortion from being covered by health plans in a health exchange.”[Scott Walker letter to SBA List, 03/03/2015]
“NEWCAP and Family Planning Health Services, as well as other organizations that provide reproductive health services in the state, contend they were paid for contraceptives and other prescription drugs at a rate agreed upon and set by the Department of Health Services in 2009. "We've been following the instructions we have been given, and we've been following them for five years," said Molly Fuller, president and chief executive of Family Planning Health Services. All of the family planning clinics, including those run by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, are paid the same rate by the state. "We are all doing it the same way," said Nicole Safar, director of policy and legal advocacy for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. The Office of the Inspector General's contention, first reported by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, has raised more questions than answers. How could the clinics overbill for contraceptives and other prescription drugs when the state sets the payment rate? And if the state did pay the clinics too much for the drugs, how could it go undetected for five years? The Department of Health Services isn't saying. The department declined to comment on the audits or explain how it pays family planning clinics for birth-control bills and other prescription drugs. Nor has it answered questions raised by the family planning organizations in their response to the audits.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/12/2014]
Molotov In an undated letter posted by the Capital Times Wednesday, Walker wrote to a constituent that he would be happy to display a menorah at the Milwaukee County Courthouse. At the time, he was serving as county executive. But what stands out most is his closing line. From the letter: Thank you for your letter regarding the Menorah Display. Yes we would be happy to display the Menorah celebrating "The Eight Days of Chanukah" here at the Courthouse. [...] Thank you again and Molotov.[Huffington Post, 12/10/2014]
“The ad alludes to a July 2013 Wisconsin law that requires women seeking an abortion to get an ultrasound -- either transabdominally, which is done externally, or transvaginally. Wisconsin is among two dozen states that require an ultrasound before an abortion is performed. In Wisconsin, exceptions are made in cases of sexual assault or medical emergency. The governor’s office praised the measure, saying it "improves a woman's ability to make an informed choice that will protect her physical and mental health now and in the future." The law was opposed by the Wisconsin Medical Society, among others. The society said the measure as a "direct infringement on the patient-physician relationship" and for injecting "non-evolving government mandates into medical science."...The law doesn’t mandate transvaginal ultrasounds, rather it says the woman seeking an abortion can choose either a transvaginal or transabdominal ultrasound. But medical professionals say that the new requirement, as a practical matter, means some women have to get a transvaginal ultrasound.”[Politifact, 10/24/2014]
Walker has led the way on a "no exceptions" stance for Wisconsin in the past. As a state lawmaker, in 1998, he co-authored a bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks, even in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s health was in jeopardy. Physicians who performed the procedure would have faced life in prison. In 2010, he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board that he is completely opposed to abortion, even in cases of rape or incest.[Capital Times, 10/14/2014]
In a recent campaign television ad Gov. Scott Walker, on record as opposed to abortion even in cases of rape or incest, speaks directly to the camera and tries to minimize the impact of “the bill”. Based on his long track record of supporting, authoring, voting for and signing into law measures that restrict women's access to healthcare services including abortion, One Wisconsin Now is asking Gov. Walker to clarify which bill he was referring to in his TV ad.[One Wisconsin Now, 10/10/2014]
In an attempt to appear moderate while also keeping his 2016 Republican presidential primary ambitions alive, career politician Scott Walker has taken to the airwaves and the internet to try to cover up his extreme views, while also touting them. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that Gov. Walker's 20-year demonstrated record of extremism on women's reproductive health issues and a “100 percent” rating from an extremist group are at odds with his new TV ad in which he speaks directly to camera.[One Wisconsin Now, 10/10/2014]
“A fifth Planned Parenthood health center closed in Wisconsin on Thursday due to state budget cuts that directed family planning money away from the provider. The Fond du Lac clinic did not provide abortion services. It offered birth control, sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment, pregnancy tests, annual exams and breast cancer screenings to over 1,000 patients a year. A spokesperson for the clinic blamed the closure directly on Gov. Scott Walker (R), whose 2011-2013 budget eliminated over $1 million in state funding to Planned Parenthood clinics.”[Huffington Post, 09/25/2014]
“On Monday, a spokesperson from Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s administration told the conservative website Media Trackers that Wisconsin will no longer require employers to follow the state law mandating coverage. Current state law in Wisconsin mandates that companies with insurance plans covering certain services, like outpatient care, preventive treatment, and prescription drugs, must also cover contraceptives approved by the Food and Drug Administration and prescribed by a health-care provider.”[RH Reality Check, 07/25/2014]
In his first state budget in 2011, Gov. Scott Walker unsuccessfully attempted to repeal the state law guaranteeing contraceptive equity for women in their health care. This week the Walker administration announced it is halting enforcement of Wisconsin’s equity law, using the Hobby Lobby decision as justification, despite being quoted as saying, “It really hasn’t been an issue for us.”[One Wisconsin Now, 07/23/2014]
“Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) administration announced Friday evening that it was delaying its controversial restructuring of a popular health care program for low-income women, after an outcry from women's health advocates..." Stakeholders in the provider and coordinator communities have reached out to us with questions, concerns, and suggestions about how the proposed model would work. We have listened carefully, and have modified our original proposal based on those concerns," McKeown wrote to local health offices, WWWP providers and WWWP coordinators. By Dec. 1, the state will begin to select the providers who will form the new network. By April 1, 2015, it plans to have the new structure of providers and regional coordinators in place, with everything up and running by July.”[Huffington Post, 03/21/2014]
Nearly 15,000 individuals have voiced their opposition to the anti-woman agenda of Gov. Walker and the state big business lobby, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, signing an online petition telling them to, “Respect Wisconsin Women.” EMILY's List, the nation's largest resource for women in politics, and One Wisconsin Now sponsored the effort.[One Wisconsin Now, 11/09/2013]
“Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill Friday requiring doctors who perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges, and abortion clinics responded by immediately suing state officials over the measure. The law — signed Friday by Walker in a private ceremony — would cut the number of clinics offering abortions in Wisconsin from four to two, and one of the remaining clinics would have to dramatically cut the number of abortions it provides, according to the operators of the clinics. "When women don't have access to safe, legal abortions, there are health consequences and women die," said Teri Huyck, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.”[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 07/05/2013]
Gov. Scott Walker quietly signed a contentious Republican bill Friday that would require women seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound and ban doctors who lack admitting privileges at nearby hospitals from performing the procedures. Opponents contend legislators shouldn't force women to undergo any medical procedure and the bill will force two abortion clinics where providers lack admitting privileges to shut their doors. The law takes effect Monday. Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit within hours of the signing alleging the bill is unconstitutional and asking for a temporary restraining order blocking the measure.”[Politico, 07/05/2013]
In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. The title “Governor of the State of Wisconsin” suggests that the holder of the office would consider the diversity of the entire state's population. As judged by his actions in office, Scott Walker has clearly failed in this regard.[One Wisconsin Now, 06/20/2013]
In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. In today's installment, as the Republican controlled legislature is poised to adopt even more radical, right-wing legislation attacking women's health care, the lowlights of Gov. Walker's abysmal record on the issue are up.[One Wisconsin Now, 06/14/2013]
OWN is highlighting different Walker fails over the course of 20 days. Day two discusses right wing legislation attacking women’s health care. Scot Ross commented, “When given the choice between protecting women’s access to safe and legal health care services or pandering to the most extreme right-wing of the Republican Party, Scott Walker has sided with the extremists over Wisconsin women every time.”[Common Dreams, 06/10/2013]
“Planned Parenthood will be closing four rural Wisconsin locations between April and July because the nonprofit health care organization has lost $1.1 million in state funding, officials announced Monday. The centers in Beaver Dam, Johnson Creek, Chippewa Falls and Shawano don't get enough private funding to stay financially viable without the state support, which the Legislature eliminated in the 2011-'13 state budget. The locations are the only reproductive health care providers in their communities, officials said during a conference call from Madison...Planned Parenthood officials stressed that the $1.1 million the organization lost in state funding for nine counties mainly paid for infrastructure costs. The money was never used to provide abortion services, which would have been against state and federal laws, officials said.”[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 02/18/2013]
“Gov. Scott Walker signed four bills relating to women’s reproductive health and pay equality without the usual public fanfare last Thursday, a move that came under fire from Democrats and advocacy groups. Walker signed the four bills into law on Thursday and announced their signing, along with 47 other bills, in a statement released the following day. The first three bills relate to abortions in the state, and the fourth relates to women’s health issues, according to the Legislative Reference Bureau. One piece of legislation repeals Wisconsin’s Healthy Youth Act.”[Badger Herald, 04/09/2012]
“Beth Kaplan, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health Services, told Mother Jones that no decision has been made on the contract and would not comment on why it might not be continued. But Tanya Atkinson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, says they were told that the state is cutting them out of the program. "They have very clearly stated that they were ending the contract with us," she says. (UPDATE: Walker himself has confirmed that the state is ending its contract with Planned Parenthood...The move puts in question what will happen to the more than 1,000 women that access the Well Woman Program through Planned Parenthood in Winnebago, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, and Outagamie counties every year.)[Mother Jones, 12/16/2011]
“Among measures cheered by anti-abortion groups, the 2011-13 biennial budget prohibits any entity that provides abortions at any of its facilities from participating in the state's family planning program. The change renders Planned Parenthood, which performs abortions at three Wisconsin sites, ineligible for those funds and means an annual loss of about $1 million to that organization…Harrington said the loss of the family planning money "seriously jeopardizes" the future of nine Planned Parenthood health centers in the state that do not perform abortions but provide thousands of uninsured men and women with services such as cancer screenings and breast exams.”[Wisconsin State Journal, 07/03/2011]
The Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the state’s domestic partnership registry Thursday, ensuring same-sex couples will retain certain rights no matter how a federal court rules on the state’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. In a unanimous decision written by Justice N. Patrick Crooks, the court emphasized that proponents of the amendment, including Wisconsin Family Action executive director Julaine Appling, the lead plaintiff in the case, and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, made public statements in 2006 that the marriage amendment wouldn’t prevent the Legislature from granting certain rights to same-sex couples.[Capital Times, 03/24/2011]
After his 2010 election Walker fired Pines, leaving defense of the law up to gay rights advocate Fair Wisconsin and other interested parties that had intervened in the case. Pines said Thursday the state paid his firm $75,000 between Oct. 29, 2009, and June 28, 2011, for work on the case.[Capital Times, 03/24/2011]
Gov. Scott Walker has fired the lawyers defending the state in a challenge to Wisconsin's domestic partnership law. But the governor's spokesman said his office "is still working to appoint a new counsel to the case." Madison attorney Lester Pines informed Dane County Circuit Judge Daniel Moeser in a March 22 letter that his firm, Cullen Weston Pines & Bach, had been "terminated" by Walker as counsel for the state in the lawsuit filed in 2009 by Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, a conservative advocacy group.[Capital Times, 03/24/2011]
“Barrett’s campaign, though, points to the first question on the survey: ‘Would you sign legislation that declares that a preborn child has an inalienable right to life from the moment of fertilization forward?...Did Walker know about -- and agree with -- the group’s views on birth control as causing abortion?For the 2010 election, candidates were given survey instructions and a memo entitled "Hormonal Birth Control and its Abortion Causing Effect," according to Sande. That memo clearly lays out the group’s view that "any artificial action that works to destroy a human embryo is abortifacient in nature." It lumps "most if not all birth control drugs and devices" into that category. Sande downplays the chances Pro-Life Wisconsin will succeed in its anti birth-control agenda because it believes society is not ready for it. But a birth control ban is the group’s aim. Its mechanism to get there is "personhood" legislation -- Question 1 on the candidate survey.’”[Politifact, 11/01/2010]
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker refuses to admit he would support a ban on embryonic stem cell research if elected governor, but Walker told supporters in 2005 he would have signed a bill Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed at the time that was a direct threat to embryonic stem cell research. Walker told his supporters of the ban in the November 10, 2005 “Walker Weekly,” an electronic newsletter during his failed previous bid for governor.[One Wisconsin Now, 10/19/2010]
The Pro-Life Wisconsin Victory Fund Political Action Committee (PAC) today announced its dual endorsement of Mark Neumann and Scott Walker for Wisconsin governor....Pro-Life Wisconsin Victory Fund supports candidates for public office who demonstrate a commitment to protect each and every innocent human life – in all circumstances and at all stages of development. To be “100% pro-life” is to know that a human life begins at fertilization and that there may never be a legal exception to an innocent child’s inalienable right to life.”[Pro-Life Wisconsin, 06/22/2010]
As noted in articles above, Pro-Life Wisconsin requires a 100% rating to receive their endorsement. Walker won the endorsement in 2010 by answering yes to this question, among others: “1. Would you sign legislation that bans abortion in all cases? (Pro-Life Wisconsin supports legal protection for all preborn babies, including those conceived in rape and incest. If a physician claims that a mother’s life may be in danger, PLW opposes direct abortion and supports equal care for mother and child. Please see the enclosed memo on why a “life of the mother” exception is dangerous and unnecessary.)”[Pro-Life Wisconsin candidate survey, 01/01/2010]
A Milwaukee County Board committee on Monday recommended that the full board sustain County Executive Scott Walker's veto of a measure that would lay the groundwork for granting domestic partner health benefits to county employees. The Personnel Committee voted 5-2 to uphold Walker's Nov. 16 veto. Walker and other opponents of the domestic partners measure said the benefit would be too costly at a time when the county faces serious budget problems.”[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/14/2009]
“I’ve had concerns about (county benefits) in general because of the cost. Quite frankly, I think people are fed up with a number of benefits given at the county level. The last thing we can do is be adding even more to it.”[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 04/21/2002]
At age 7, Scott Walker formed a ‘Jesus USA’ club in tiny Plainfield, Iowa, a farming community a half hour north of Waterloo where his father was the local Baptist pastor … The young Walker mounted a successful door-to-door fund drive for a state flag for the village hall, recalls Walker's father, the Rev. Llewelyn Walker.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 03/29/2002]
“Pharmacists could refuse to fill birth control prescriptions if doing so violates their moral or ethical beliefs under a bill before a state committee. The "conscience clause bill" (AB 168) introduced by Rep. Scott Walker, R-Wauwatosa, is aimed at the so-called "morning after" pill, which stops a pregnancy after unprotected sex, and the abortion drug RU-486. But it also would allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense most other forms of birth control, since in some cases things like the pill or intrauterine device (IUD) can prevent the implantation of fertilized eggs. "No person should be forced to engage in the destruction of another person's life, no matter the stage of development," Walker said.”[Wisconsin State Journal, 04/12/2001]
Provisions of bill would have required women seeking an abortion to be told they could “anonymously and with immunity from liability relinquish custody of her newborn child to a law enforcement officer, an emergency medical technician, or a hospital staff member when the newborn child is 72 hours old or younger.”[2001 AB 450, 01/01/2001]
The bill banned “the use of funds for family planning services and pregnancy counseling to prescribe, dispense or administer a contraceptive prescription drug or device to a minor without parental notification.”[1999 AB 632, 01/01/1999]
- sterilization procedures;
- certain procedures that prevent the implantation of a fertilized human ovum;
- experiments or medical procedures that involve the destruction of a human embryo or that involve a human embryo or unborn child but do not relate to the beneficial treatment of the human embryo or unborn child;
- procedures using fetal tissue or organs;
- withholding or withdrawing nutrition or hydration under certain circumstances; or
- acts causing or assisting in the death of an individual, including assisted suicide, euthanasia or mercy killing. There is no exception for an employer to show that the refusal poses an undue hardship.”
The bill prohibited same sex marriages from occurring in Wisconsin and prohibited the state from recognizing a same sex marriage performed in another state where it was legal. (Assembly Journal)[1997 AB 104, 05/13/1997]
The bill cut off any state funding for pro-choice groups and prohibited a state employee while acting within the scope of his or her employment from providing abortion services, promoting, encouraging or counseling in favor of abortion services or make abortion referrals either directly or through an intermediary in any instance other than when an abortion is directly and medically necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman. The bill also prohibited public property from being used in connection with providing or facilitating abortions.[1997 AB 740, 01/01/1997]
The bill proposed allowing doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care workers to refuse to participate in sterilization, abortion, assisted suicide and other procedures or dispensing emergency contraception or birth control based on their personal religious or moral beliefs.[1997 AB 953, 01/01/1997]
Walker sponsored 1997 Assembly Bill 220 to criminally ban an abortion procedure that included an exception for the life of the mother, but not her health.[1997 WI Act 219, 01/01/1997]
“I won’t shy away from the fact that it had appeal to myself and other conservative members who don’t believe we should fund this, but the broad appeal was financial.”[Capital Times, 07/17/1995]
- The name of the physician who will perform or induce the abortion.
- The probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the unborn child at the time that the information is given.3. The details of the medical or surgical method that will be used in performing or inducing the abortion.
- That fetal ultrasound imaging and auscultation of fetal heart tone services are available that enable a pregnant woman to view the image or hear the heartbeat of her unborn child and how the woman may obtain these services if she desires to do so.
- That if, in the reasonable medical judgment of the physician, the woman's unborn child has reached viability, the physician is required to take all steps necessary under current law to preserve and maintain the life and health of the child.
- Any other information that a reasonable patient would consider material and relevant to a decision of whether or not to carry a child to birth or to undergo an abortion.
- That the woman may withdraw her consent to have an abortion at any time before the abortion is performed or induced.
- That the woman is not required to pay for performance or inducement of the abortion until at least 24 hours have elapsed after provision of the information.
The bill created a “series of crimes providing penalties, based on current law, for persons who cause death, great bodily harm or harm to an unborn child.”[1995 AB 146, 01/01/1995]
The bill, signed in to law in May 1996, expanded “requirements for a woman's informed consent for performance or inducement of an abortion and for consent to a minor's obtaining an abortion and providing a penalty”[1995 WI Act 309, 01/01/1995]
The bill would have banned the state group insurance board from providing group health insurance coverage for abortion to employees in the Wisconsin retirement system.[1993 SB 727, 01/01/1993]