In July 2015, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed into law a ban on abortions after a woman reaches 20 weeks in her pregnancy.
The bill sparked heated discussion, particularly as it made no exceptions for victims of rape or incest, or severe fetal anomalies.
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"I feel that any woman who votes for this bill is truly a traitor to your gender," state Rep. Terese Berceau, a Democrat from Madison, said before the state assembly on July 9, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
State Rep. Lisa Subeck, a Democrat from Madison, added, "This Republican abortion ban is cruel, folks," the newspaper reported.
Republican lawmakers defended the bill by saying it wasn't about abortion, but rather a fight over fetal pain inflicted by the procedure, an assertion that has been questioned by medical professionals.
"It's been portrayed as, 'It's banning abortion.' This bill isn't about abortion," said state Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, a Republican from New Berlin, according to The Huffington Post
. "This bill is about protecting children who are capable of feeling pain from going through an extremely excruciating and painful experience."
San Felippo added: "We're not telling a doctor what he can and can't do. ... Everything in this bill leaves decisions up to a doctor and a mother."
But some Democrats described the bill as purely political.
"Let's be clear, it's no coincidence that on Monday the governor will be announcing that he's running for president," said Rep. Katrina Shankland, a Democrat from Stevens Point said, according to the Journal Sentinel. "This abortion ban is a part of his campaign."
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Democratic lawmaker state Rep. Dianne Hesselbein, quoted Gov. Scott Walker, whom she said was using language to cloak his real feelings against abortion: "'There’s no doubt in my mind the decision of whether or not to end a pregnancy is an agonizing one,'" she said, quoting Walker. "'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.'"
Hesselbein added: "My parents always told me to pay attention to what people do, not what they say. Gov. Walker doesn't believe the final decision is up to a woman and her doctor anymore — it's up to Republicans in the legislature of the state of Wisconsin."
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