Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker recently defended a bill that he signed into law in 2013 that requires women to have ultrasounds before getting legal abortions (video below).
PolitiFact Wisconsin notes, "The person performing the ultrasound must describe what is being shown and provide the woman an opportunity to see the ultrasound images. But the woman can't be required to view the images."
RightWingWatch.org notes that Walker, a Republican, described the medically unnecessary ultrasounds as "a lovely thing" and a "cool thing out there."
Walker made his comments on a radio talk show hosted by conservative Dana Loesch on May 21:
"The thing about that, the media tried to make that sound like that was a crazy idea. Most people I talked to, whether they’re pro-life or not, I find people all the time who will get 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, and we still have their first ultrasound pictures. 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."
A 2014 study in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that of 15,757 women who went to a Los Angeles clinic get an abortion, few changed their minds after viewing an ultrasound.
Slate.com reported, "Patients underwent ultrasounds as part of the standard procedure, and 42.5 percent of them opted to see the images. Of those, 98.4 percent terminated their pregnancies; 99 percent of the women who did not look at the photographs ended their pregnancies."
The pro-life website LifeNews.com claimed in 2013 that 78 percent of pregnant women seeing an ultrasound reject abortions.
LifeNews.com cited a 2011 article in Time magazine that stated, "According to (then Republican Congresswoman Michelle) Bachmann, a poll by Focus on the Family, a group opposed to abortion, found that when women who were undecided about whether to end a pregnancy were shown an ultrasound of the fetus, 78 percent did not have the abortion."
Focus on the Family told PolitiFact Wisconsin in 2013 that it doesn't claim any percentage numbers of women who change their minds after viewing an ultrasound.
The Wisconsin law doesn't apply to women in a medical emergency or victims of rape or incest, but only if they contact the police.