Gov. Scott Walker quietly signed a set of contentious GOP bills barring abortion coverage through health insurance exchanges, requiring doctors to consult privately with women seeking abortions and mandating sex education teachers stress abstinence.Quietly? The point is he signed a lot of bills on Thursday and some more on Friday, then announced them all at once on Friday. A Friday bill dump. Presumably, he's more interested in avoiding criticism than getting credit. Of course, he's getting plenty of criticism from Democrats anyway, both for the substance of the laws and for the low-key signings. But let's concentrate on the substance:
[One] bill requires a woman seeking an abortion to undergo a physical exam and consult with a doctor alone, away from her friends and family. The doctor must determine whether someone is pressuring the woman into the procedure....
Republicans contend the bill will ensure women aren't coerced into abortions and prevent doctor-patient consultations via webcam.That last sentence troubles me. How can you portray it as a burden — making it more difficult — if what is now forbidden was not even being done?
But opponents argue webcam consultations aren't currently done in Wisconsin and Republicans simply want to make it more difficult to get an abortion....
Do opponents also believe there is currently no problem of women getting pressured to have abortions? If that were happening, you wouldn't complain that abortions were more difficult to obtain. You'd want to slow things down at that point to protect the woman's right to choose. No mainstream political voices argue in favor or more abortions, only stronger abortion rights, freer access to abortion, if that is the woman's choice.
That last sentence needs rewriting, but it's hard to figure out how. It could say:
But opponents argue that women aren't coerced into abortions, and Republicans simply want to make it more difficult to get an abortion.That would make sense as an argument, but I don't know if it's factually true. Opponents might feel squeamish about making an assertion like that, and it may conflict with other things they'd like to be able to say about the subordination of women.
Abortion politics. I'm not defending either side here. Everyone's gesturing at political constituencies. It's a nasty business in a delicate place, where there are many conflicting values, and a tremendous amount of dishonesty all around.