NBC News: A federal judge Monday temporarily blocked part of Wisconsin's new abortion law and scheduled a hearing for next week.
The law, which went into effect Monday, includes provisions similar to those in several other states that require women to undergo an ultrasound procedure before having an abortion and require doctors who provide abortion services to have admitting privileges at a hospital.
Opponents, including Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, which is representing two doctors and an abortion clinic in challenging the law, said the measure was rushed into effect and that the provision affecting doctors would force two of the state's four clinics to close.
The blocked provision is the one that requires clinics to have admitting privileges at hospitals. This is an obvious attempt to regulate these clinics out of business and the judge found that the evidence "strongly supports a finding that no medical purpose is served" and that claims that the provision safeguards women's health "does not bear even superficial scrutiny on the current record."
So now we begin pouring taxpayer money down a rathole. The purpose of this rathole-feeding is not to defend the law. I'm pretty sure all but the most ideologically driven see that it's unconstitutional and will not survive a court test. No, the purpose is to buy the votes of anti-choice zealots who can always be counted on to vote for anyone demonstrating "pro-life" bona fides -- even when they're driving the state's economy into the ground.
Walker and Wisconsin Republicans can't run on economic success. The state is not a sinking ship, it is a sunken ship. So between now and the next elections, expect social issues to domnate. It's social issues that rile up the intellectual lightweights who believe it's more important to punish "un-Christian" behaviors than it is to make sure that people have jobs, food, or a decent education. The Capital Square here in Madison is thick with homeless sleeping in doorways and benches, but doing anything to turn that around means admitting that conservative economic policies are the failures that they've always been. Be grateful for one thing -- Scott Walker's presidential ambitions are pretty much dead. No one could get elected with his dismal record. He makes even George W. Bush look like an economic genius.
We'll throw money at hopeless fights to defend unconstituional abortion laws, but people on food stamps have to take a hit. In any other scenario, Walker and Republicans would argue that times are too tough to spend taxpayer money needlessly. But give them a hopeless abortion law to defend and there's suddenly money to burn.
So the next time you hear one of these guys bragging about their fiscal restraint and love for limited government and liberty, keep in mind that they're lying. There is no other way to put it. They'll waste piles of money trying to crush out women's rights, not because it's necessary, but because it buys them a few extra votes in the next election. They love power, not freedom -- and they'll buy all the power they can with taxpayer dollars.
[photo by thecrazyfilmgirl]