Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is set to sign legislation banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. This latest legislative victory comes on the eve of the expected announcement of his Presidential campaign, putting a top priority of social conservatives at the forefront of his campaign for the White House.
“I think it makes it clear that he is a social conservative and that people who are wondering how he would govern as president have a very recent reminder that he is willing to be on the offensive,” Frank Cannon, President of the American Principles Project said of the expected bill signing. “I think it puts him in good stead verses other social conservative in Iowa and bolster his social conservative bonafides.”
The abortion ban passed the Wisconsin legislature earlier this week. The measure, which would ban most abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy is the latest in a string of conservative victories Walker has secured in the Midwestern swing state.
Earlier this year, Wisconsin became the 25th state to pass Right-to-Work legislation, allowing workers the freedom to choose whether or not to join a union.
Four years ago, Walker won a series of showdowns with the state’s powerful public sector unions over changes to collective bargaining for the state’s government workers. The victories were noteworthy, not just because Wisconsin is a political swing state, but it is also the birthplace of the public sector labor movement.
Walker won three statewide elections on a platform of conservative reform. This record of substantive achievement has catapulted him to the top of most polls of Republican candidates.
Social conservatives has remained skeptical of Walker, however, as his record has been largely focused on economic and fiscal reform. Passage and enactment of the 20 week abortion ban should help burnish his conservative credentials across the entire spectrum of issues.
Bob Vander Platts, head of the influential Family Matters group in Iowa, said the action “will basically give him that Good Housekeeping Seal.”