Governor Evers introduces bill repealing Wisconsin abortion ban

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 7:15 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Governor Evers and other state Democrats have re-introduced a bill legalizing abortion in Wisconsin.

Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. When that happened, abortion became illegal in the state of Wisconsin because of an 1849 abortion ban with the only exception for the life of the mother. Now, Governor Evers is looking to overturn that 1849 law.

“We’re not flirting with fringe ideas, folks. What this bill will do is simple,” Evers said. “It will restore access to safe, legal access to abortion in Wisconsin to what it was on June 23, 2022, nothing more, nothing less.”

This announcement is something Gracie Skogman, the legislative impact director at Wisconsin Right to Life said is not surprising.

“This is far from the first effort from Governor Evers to prevent this law from being effective,” Skogman said. “But here at Wisconsin Right to Life, we have seen firsthand lives that have been saved because of this law. So, we will continue to advocate for the law and continue to just spread that positive message that it is saving lives.”

The proposal Evers announced comes after state Republicans introduced legislation last week providing exceptions of rape and incest to the current abortion ban. This is something State Representative Kare Hurd said her constituents want.

“I’m to represent the people who elected me and the people who elected me to this position, they are overwhelmingly, in my district, 85% say they would like an abortion ban,” Hurd said. “But, they would like that ban to have exceptions.”

Governor Evers said he will not support the Republican proposal, arguing it does not do enough.

“I’ve been clear from the start that I won’t sign a bill that leaves Wisconsin women with fewer rights and freedoms than they had before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe,” Evers said. “Simply put, Republican’s bill doesn’t cut it.”

In the upcoming spring election, Eau Claire county voters will be able to share their thoughts on abortion in an advisory referendum. That advisory referendum will not change the law in Wisconsin, it is meant to show what Eau Claire County voters think on this issue.

In June, Attorney General Josh Kaul filed a lawsuit challenging Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion ban. That case is likely heading to the U.S. Supreme Court.