Scott Walker: Rape victims "most concerned" about pregnancy in "initial months"

Jun 4, 2015 12:34 PM by CBS News

Potential Republican presidential candidate and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said that he would sign his state's proposed bill banning abortions after 20 weeks, including in cases of rape or incest, and it's "in the initial months" when women are "most concerned about it."

"I mean, I think for most people concerned about that, it's in the initial months when they're the most concerned about it," Walker told reporters of pregnancies brought about by rape or incest. "In this case, again, it's an unborn life. It's an unborn child and that's why we feel strongly about it."

The Wisconsin governor has expressed strong support for the bill, which has no exceptions for rape or incest.

"I'm prepared to sign it either way that they send it to us," Walker added.

The Wisconsin Republican has previously called the pre-viability ban "rational and reasonable."

"Whether you're pro-life or not, that's a good time to say that shouldn't be legal after a time when an unborn child can literally feel pain," Walker said last week.

Last week, a federal appeals court ruled Idaho's 20-week abortion ban unconstitutional, saying it violates Supreme Court precedent that protects abortions up to the point of a fetus's viability.

If Wisconsin's bill becomes law, doctors who perform an abortion after the specified time could be charged with a felony and fined up to $10,000, or face up to three-and-a-half years in prison.

The bill also allows for the mother or father of an unborn child to "bring a claim for damages" against a person terminating the pregnancy.

Wisconsin's legislation is similar to a 20-week abortion ban that passed in the U.S. House of Representatives in early May. The bill faces an uphill Senate battle, and President Obama has threatened to veto the legislation if it reaches his desk.

Walker, who has not yet announced his candidacy for the White House, has promised to announce his intentions at the end of June after Wisconsin's state budget is finalized.

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