ALEC’s handmaidens

So you may have heard by now that Scott Walker signed a sneak attack on Wisconsin abortion rights. It’s clear that this wave of stealth legislative assaults on abortion is being driven by ALEC’s corporate agenda, and it doesn’t have a damned thing to do with “protecting the unborn.” It’s about keeping people poor, desperate and docile. It’s about cheap, disposable labor — which is what Republicans and their corporate sponsors always want, and of course they’re shameless enough to manipulate people into thinking they have some noble purpose behind it. Via Media Matters:

Every conceivable element of this story is offensive.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into law on Friday new abortion restrictions that opponents said could lead to the closing of two of the state’s four abortion clinics. […]The law requires women to undergo an ultrasound before they get an abortion and doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinics.

So, in addition to forcing two of the state’s four abortion providers to shut down, Walker will now require women undergo a medically unnecessary procedure before exercising their constitutional rights. What if a woman doesn’t want the ultrasound? Too bad; her governor is imposing one on her anyway. What if her physician says there’s no need for an ultrasound? It doesn’t matter; Republican politicians in Wisconsin have decided to put themselves between patients and their doctors.

And of course, insurance companies won’t cover an ultrasound unless it’s medically indicated, so the cost falls fully on the patient, who probably can’t afford it! (If she could afford it, she’d fly to a sane state for her abortion.)

This, we’re told, is the result of sensible policymaking from advocates of limited government.

But the way in which the Wisconsin governor signed this legislation into law adds insult to injury (in this case, almost literally). Scott Walker could have approved the measure in any number of ways, but he chose to do so privately, over the course of a holiday weekend, when the governor apparently thought it’d generate less attention.

There is, in other words, a degree of cowardice here — if Walker thought he was doing the right thing, signing a measure with broad support into law, he wouldn’t have been reduced to hiding.

4 thoughts on “ALEC’s handmaidens

  1. Next up, a bill requiring the women to name the fetus, sign the death certificate and pay for a funeral. Hymen police and clitoris skinners, the whole lot of them.

  2. More importantly, it gets people running around, spending campaign cash and chasing lost rights instead of mobilizing same against ALEC’s biggest agenda: legislation about corporate rule: Tax cuts, labor law, privatizing state government functions (especially schools), limiting liability, campaign bribery, voting regulation, pollution control . . . .

    Keep everyone on their separate one-track agendas rather than uniting. LGBT, abortion, trade unionism, education. The Democratic Party would be a great clearinghouse for all these groups and they could start meeting at high levels, but Barack Obama is ALEC’s most important ally. So they’ll all hang separately.

  3. The Democrats who opposed a single-payer health care system, and there were many of them including Obama, tell us that once the market place becomes more competitive health insurance will become cheaper. Where is all of this competition coming from? The exchanges? Or the subsidies provided by the taxpayers? In most states the exchanges are in trouble. Taxpayer subsidies will go to the already established insurance corporations. So where in this free market Capitalist system is the competition going to come from? “Have I got a deal for you.”

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