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Gov. Scott Walker

Scott Bauer

Earlier this month, Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin announced plans to introduce a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Gov. Scott Walker said months earlier he would sign it if it got to his desk.

And with Republicans in charge of both the state Assembly and Senate, the bill seems destined for passage.

During the Joy Cardin Show on Wisconsin Public Radio on Wednesday morning, guest host John Munson asked Cap Times reporter Jessie Opoien, "How connected to the governor's presidential aspirations do you think this is?" 

Opoien responded: "We heard him indicate that support and that was before the bill was introduced. He had just the day before done an interview talking about abortion. A handful of pro-life conservatives chastised him... said he sounded weak on the issue, he wasn't taking a hard-line stance. ... The following day he wrote a letter saying 'when this gets on my desk I'm gonna sign it.'

"That's unusual for him, even as recently as January when he was asked about the possibility of a bill like this, he said that he wasn't going to comment on legislation before it reached his desk. But now that he is in the public eye on a national level, there's a lot more scrutiny on the stances he is taking and I think he needed to nail down a position on this sooner rather than later."

Munson also asked Opoien why the bill was being fast-tracked.

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"The common theory among legislators is when you've got the votes, you gotta move with it," Opoien responded. "And I think not only do they believe they have the votes, they know that Governor Walker has indicated his support on more than one occasion, both before and after the bill was introduced. So when you've got the support, you want to move quickly on something like this."

Also on the show to discuss the abortion bill were Barbara Sella, associate director for Respect Life and Social Concerns for the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, and Dr. Doug Laube, a professor and doctor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.