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Walker defends state-mandated, medically unnecessary ultrasounds

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) says he has no idea why state-mandated, medically unnecessary ultrasounds might be controversial
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker fields questions from Bruce Rastetter at the Iowa Ag Summit on March 7, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty)
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker fields questions from Bruce Rastetter at the Iowa Ag Summit on March 7, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) isn't the only far-right policymaker to push state-mandated, medically unnecessary ultrasounds. He is, however, arguably the most deliberately obtuse when it comes to understanding why the policy might be controversial.
Right Wing Watch reported yesterday on Walker's latest interview with conservative talk radio host Dana Loesch, and the governor's curious defense for his policy.

Walker told Loesch that criticism he received about the ultrasound bill was merely an attack from the "gotcha" media, and that he was in fact just trying to provide women with "a cool thing." "The thing about that, the media tried to make that sound like that was a crazy idea," he said. "Most people I talked to, whether they're pro-life or not, I find people all the time who'll pull out their iPhone and show me a picture of their grandkids' ultrasound and how excited they are, so that's a lovely thing. I think about my sons are 19 and 20, we still have their first ultrasounds. It's just a cool thing out there." "We just knew if we signed that law, if we provided the information that more people if they saw that unborn child would make a decision to protect and keep the life of that unborn child," he said.

Willful ignorance is an amazing thing.
This has been going on for quite a while -- long enough for the far-right governor to get a clue about the subject. In 2013, for example, Walker defended his policy by defending ultrasounds themselves. "I don't have any problem with ultrasound," he told reporters. "I think most people think ultrasounds are just fine."
A year later, Walker said the ultrasound policy simply provided "information." Now he thinks it's a "gotcha" story from the media, which suggests he doesn't know what those words mean, either.
It's hard to say with confidence whether the Wisconsin Republican is pretending to be dumb for political expedience or whether he's genuinely confused, but either way, it's probably worth setting the record straight.
No one has suggested that there's something wrong with ultrasounds themselves. It's a perfectly good technological advancement, which medical professionals rely on every day.
The problem, whether Walker can understand this or not, is that politicians shouldn't be in the business of dictating ultrasounds' use. In this case, a governor with no background in medicine, science, or health services took it upon himself to legally mandate a medical procedure before women could exercise their rights. This governor put himself between the patient and her doctor -- for no medical reason whatsoever -- regardless of the patient's wishes, and regardless of what medical professionals consider necessary.
Why? According to Walker, if right-wing policymakers played doctor, and pushed politics into exam rooms, maybe they could try to make women feel guilty about terminating unwanted pregnancies.
And when this became controversial, Walker dismissed the uproar as nonsense from the "gotcha" media. In other words, the GOP governor not only didn't care about criticism, he didn't even bother to learn what the criticism was all about. It's one thing to disagree with those who disagree with you, but in this case, the far-right Wisconsinite has struggled to understand a simple argument from the other side.
When it comes to question about Walker's aptitude for national office, incidents like these are further cause for alarm.