NRL News

Pro-life Gov. Scott Walker Signs Wisconsin Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

by | Jul 20, 2015

By Dave Andrusko

Wisconsin-Walker-Pain-Capable   I no doubt was momentarily dazed, and therefore misled, by what was  (given the source) an amazingly fair profile of pro-life Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker that appeared in the Washington Post last week.

But when the governor, who is also running to be the Republican Party’s presidential nominate, signed the Wisconsin Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act this morning, the coverage was back to normal.

Never mind that Walker has a long history of pro-life advocacy. The New York Times’ story (actually an AP story) begins, “Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, one week after launching his bid for the 2016 presidential nomination…”

Likewise, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s second paragraph begins, “Action on the abortion bill came after Walker announced his bid for the presidency and then made a cross-country tour of early primary states.”

Message? It’s all politics folks. Conviction is out, cynicism is in. (To be fair, the Sentinel did add that Walker is a “committed, longtime opponent of abortion…”)

The bill protects unborn children from 20 weeks fetal age (22 “weeks of pregnancy”), based on legislative findings that there is compelling evidence that an unborn child by that point (if not earlier) is capable of experiencing excruciating pain during the process of dismemberment or other abortion procedures.

When he signed the bill in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Walker said, “For people, regardless of where they might stand, when an unborn child can feel pain I think most people feel it’s appropriate to protect that child.”

What was said about Walker will likely be said to dismiss the sincerity of all the 14 announced pro-life candidates (Ohio pro-life Gov. John Kasich will soon announce), all of whom are strong pro-lifers, with one exception. The intent is transparent: to diminish pro-life enthusiasm for whichever GOP candidate secures the nomination.

Pro-lifers know better.

“Today is a great day for unborn babies in the state of Wisconsin,” said Heather Weininger, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life. “This morning, Governor Walker signed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which protects unborn babies at the point when they can feel excruciating pain from abortion.”

In a statement from Wisconsin Right to Life we also learn

 The bill signing occurred at Fox Valley Technical College, where among many legislative leaders were bill authors Sen. Mary Lazich, Rep. Jesse Kremer, and Rep. Joan Ballweg, joined by several families who spoke out in favor of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. To read more about the families who shared their stories related to the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, visit

 “We would like to thank all those who were a voice for the voiceless with this bill, especially to our bill authors Sen. Mary Lazich and Representatives Jesse Kremer, Joe Sanfelippo, and Joan Ballweg, who recognized the compelling state interest in protecting the lives of pain-capable unborn children,” continued Weininger. “Thanks to everyone’s efforts, pain-capable unborn babies are now protected, by law, from the pain of abortion.”

   Noticeably absent from the coverage of Walker’s signing of the measure–as is the case with virtually all coverage of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act–is its strong and widespread public support.

In a nationwide poll of 1,000 American adults conducted in July 2012, The Polling Company asked, “Unless an abortion is necessary to save a mother’s life, do you think abortion should be permitted after the point where substantial medical evidence says that the unborn child can feel pain?” A majority, 63%, responded “no, abortion should not be permitted,” compared to just 21% who would allow abortion after the point at which the unborn child is capable of feeling pain.

“Wisconsin now joins eleven other states in recognizing the humanity of the unborn child,” said Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., National Right to Life director of state legislation. “The smallest and most vulnerable members of our human family need our protection, and Wisconsin has taken a vital step to save unborn child who are capable of feeling the excruciating pain of abortions.”

In May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a national version of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36), which has also been introduced in the U.S. Senate (S. 1553).

“Pain-capable unborn children should be protected from the violent act of a dismemberment abortion, or whatever twisted method the abortion industry has cooked up this week,” Balch added. “In our upside-down society, most animals have more rights than unborn members of the human family. We are thankful the Wisconsin legislature has recognized their solemn duty in protecting the lives of the most vulnerable.”

Some of the extensive evidence that unborn children have the capacity to experience pain, at least by 20 weeks fetal age, is available on the NRLC website and also here:


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