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Recall-Facing Wis. Gov. Walker Continues 'War on Women' With Flurry of Bills

Gov. Walker signed dozens of bills that "turn back the clock on women’s health, safety, wellness and economic security”

Common Dreams staff

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is facing a June 5 recall election, privately signed a slew of legislation on Thursday that some Democrats see as evidence of an ongoing "war on women."

Governor Scott Walker

“Instead of a jobs and economic priority from the state legislature, we’ve had a series of bills introduced, passed and now signed into law, that really turn back the clock on women’s health, safety, wellness and economic security,” said Sara Finger with the Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health.

Among the dozens of bills signed by Walker is a repeal of the state's Equal Pay law, a bill barring abortion coverage through health insurance exchanges, and a repeal of the Healthy Youth Act so that now sex education teachers do not have to teach contraception.

"The reason that Governor Walker signed these anti-women bills in the dark of the night, without public notice, before a holiday weekend, is that he is banking on the fact that women are NOT watching and women will not vote on June 5. In fact, he is betting his job on it," said Tanya Atkinson, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin.

The Obama campaign team said today that the legislation was evidence Republicans are willing to "undermine not only women's health care, but also their economic security."

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Dane101: Gov. Walker quietly signs several controversial bills into law

Among [the dozens of bills Gov. Walker signed yesterday] were four highly controversial measures focused on women's health care and sexual education:

A repeal of the state's Equal Pay law, which allowed victim's of wage discrimination to collect damages of between $50,000 and $300,000, and a repeal of the Healthy Youth Act, which had provided requirements to schools that comprehensive and scientifically accurate information about everything from abstinence to contraception be taught at an age-appropriate level.

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The Hill: Obama campaign pushes Romney on Wisconsin overturn of equal-pay law

After a week in which Democrats and the Obama campaign have argued that Republicans are waging a "war on women" in an effort to solidify their base of female voters in the coming election, the president's campaign team is seizing Friday on news that controversial Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) quietly overturned his state's equal-pay law.

Obama's campaign team said Friday that Walker's move was evidence Republicans are willing to "undermine not only women's health care, but also their economic security," and demanded that presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney comment on Walker's move.

"Mitt Romney has repeatedly dismissed the effect of Republican efforts to rollback access to contraception and other health care services on the women’s vote, saying that he would appeal to women by talking about their economic concerns. If this is the case does Romney think women should have ability to take their bosses to court to get the same pay as their male coworkers? Or does he stand with Governor Walker against this?” said Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith in a statement.

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WTAQ News: Gov. Walker's private bill signing slammed by Dems as "war on women"

MADISON, WI  - Governor Scott Walker said early Friday afternoon that he privately signed just over four dozen bills into law Thursday – including some controversial bills that Democrats called a “war on women.”

They include the requirement that school sex education classes go back to teaching abstinence as the only reliable way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

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Huffington Post: Scott Walker Quietly Repeals Wisconsin Equal Pay Law

WASHINGTON -- A Wisconsin law that made it easier for victims of wage discrimination to have their day in court was repealed on Thursday, after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) quietly signed the bill.

The 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act was meant to deter employers from discriminating against certain groups by giving workers more avenues via which to press charges. Among other provisions, it allows individuals to plead their cases in the less costly, more accessible state circuit court system, rather than just in federal court. [...]

SB 202 was sent to Walker on March 29. He had, according to the state constitution, six days to act on the bill. The deadline was 5:00 p.m. on Thursday. The governor quietly signed the bill into law on Thursday, according to the Legislative Reference Bureau, and it is now called Act 219. [...]

State Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) and Rep. Christine Sinicki (D-Milwaukee), the authors of the Equal Pay Enforcement Act, criticized Walker on Thursday for not informing the public of his actions on SB 202.

“We are finally starting to see progress here in Wisconsin, yet like their counterparts across the country, Legislative Republicans want to turn back the clock on women’s rights in the workplace,” said Hansen. [...]

Sara Finger, executive director of WAWH, said that the repeal was a "demoralizing attack on women’s rights, health, and wellbeing."

"Economic security is a women’s health issue," she said. "The salary women are paid directly affects the type and frequency of health care services they are able to access. At a time when women’s health services are becoming more expensive and harder to obtain, financial stability is essential to maintain steady access."

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