'War on women' comes to Wisconsin recall – and could be decisive

By Kay Nolan, June 2, 2012

Edna Kunkel calls herself an “accidental activist.” A writer of technical and scientific manuals from Verona, Wis., she came of age at the height of the women’s movement, and she never expected to take to the streets in defense of those causes more than 30 years later.

In large part, Ms. Kunkel became a women’s rights activist in her 50s because of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. On one April day alone, the Republican signed a slew of laws on subjects ranging from education to abortion that many activists say amount to a “war on women.”

“Who is making this stuff up? Why is this happening now?” she recalls thinking.

Those bills did not trigger Governor Walker’s June 5 recall election. But what began last year as a backlash to the governor’s landmark antiunion bill has in many respects become a test run for the national elections to come in November, and the alleged “war on women” that has played out on the presidential stage has also taken shape here.