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Wisconsin Democrat Launches Quixotic Effort to Overturn Forced Ultrasound Law

Robin Marty

State Rep. Chris Taylor told a local paper that she knows her effort is likely to fail, but she said it's necessary to "stand up for women" against "very extreme" legislation.

Less than a month after Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a forced ultrasound bill into law, a Democratic lawmaker is attempting to repeal it.

Signed by the governor during what was for many people a long July 4th weekend, AB 227 forces people seeking an abortion to first get an ultrasound and requires abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Although court challenges blocked the admitting privileges rule from going into effect, the forced ultrasound portion of the law is in effect in the state. Now, state Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) is seeking sponsors for a bill intended to overturn the ultrasound provision.

Rep. Taylor told the Capital Times that she knows her effort is likely to fail, but she said it’s necessary to “stand up for women” against “very extreme” legislation. “We are going to keep at it,” she told the paper. “One day we are going to be successful at repealing this law.”

“One day” may still be a ways down the road. Both of the state’s legislative chambers and the governor’s office are solidly Republican, making abortion rights a tough sell. A measure in the works to try to grant legal rights to fertilized eggs shows that anti-choice advocates in Wisconsin remain vigilant.

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Reproductive rights groups are commending Rep Taylor for her efforts, as quixotic as they may be. “The forced ultrasound law is a huge government intrusion into women’s personal decisions,” Jenni Dye, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin, told Rewire. “Repeal is the only acceptable legislative response to this bill, and the Assembly effort to repeal it is the first step in what will be sustained efforts to put Wisconsin back on track in respecting women.”

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