GOP Governors Downplay Antiabortion Laws at National Governors Association Meeting

August 5, 2013 — Governors at the National Governors Association meeting on Friday discussed recently enacted abortion regulations, with some Republicans seeking to downplay those efforts and Democrats looking to capitalize on the GOP's stance on social issues, the Washington Post's "Post Politics" reports.

In an interview, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said, "In the last two and a half years, I have signed hundreds and hundreds of bills into law; about 96 percent of them have been bipartisan." He added, "I think I've signed four or five that have to do in any way with abortion."

Walker recently signed into law a bill (SB 206) that would require women seeking abortions to obtain an ultrasound and force doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital 30 miles away. A federal judge on Friday blocked the admitting privileges requirement until at least November.

Meanwhile, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) defended a bill (SB 353) that he signed into law last week that could require abortion clinics to meet regulations that apply to ambulatory surgical centers. McCrory said the law is an effort to "improve ... health and safety."

Democrats, by contrast, sought to put social issues in the spotlight as a way to criticize conservatives.

Democratic Governors Association Chair and Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) said that Republicans are "constrained by a radical social agenda that focuses on making sure that anybody that doesn't look like them doesn't have a chance," including women (Sullivan, "Post Politics," Washington Post, 8/2).