Most Wisconsinites had not heard of state Rep. Scott Allen until the Waukesha Republican suggested last week that access to abortion rights should be restricted in order to boost the state’s workforce.

During an Assembly debate on barring state health insurance plans from offering a full range of women’s health services, Allen said, “Labor force shortages are tied to population declines. And labor force shortages are a limiting factor in economic growth. And limited economic growth poses a problem when government tries to pay for public services and infrastructure. In spite of this, Mr. Speaker, ironically, the Democrats continue their effort to support the abortion industry.”

Allen’s remarks earned headlines across the nation.

They should earn him something else in Wisconsin: opposition on the ballot.

Allen was elected to the state Assembly in 2014 from Wisconsin’s 97th Assembly District after winning a Republican primary. He had no general election opponent. In 2016, he had no primary or general election opponent.

Allen shamed himself with his wrongheaded remarks. Allowing Allen to seek re-election in 2018 without opposition from responsible Republicans and Democrats would shame Wisconsin.

John Nichols is associate editor of The Capital Times. jnichols@madison.com and @NicholsUprising

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