Speed Reads

2014 Watch

Scott Walker and abortion-rights group fight in ads on abortion restrictions

Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) and the Democratic-aligned group EMILY's List are now trading a pair of ads on the issue of abortion and mandatory ultrasounds in this closely watched race.

The subject of the ads, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel explains, is a law Walker signed in July 2013: "It required women seeking abortions to get ultrasounds and mandated that doctors performing the procedure must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where they do their work." The section on admitting privileges — which would close down two out of the four clinics offering abortion in Wisconsin — is being held up in a court challenge.

The EMILY's List ad features a nurse practitioner who says: "I was outraged when I found out Scott Walker quietly signed a law trying to restrict doctors from performing abortions. Scott Walker wants to make all abortions illegal, even in cases of rape and incest. Look, this is one of the toughest decisions a woman has to make. It's not up to politicians like Scott Walker."

Walker's response ad features the governor himself, talking to the camera, and describing the law as a protection for women: "I'm pro-life. But there's no doubt in my mind the decision of whether or not to end a pregnancy is an agonizing one. That's why I support legislation to increase safety and to provide more information for a woman considering her options. The bill leaves the final decision to a woman and her doctor." --Eric Kleefeld