by Benjamin Yount
The overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court and the future of legalized abortion in Wisconsin is now part of the political conversation in this fall’s races.
Wisconsin is one of two dozen states where abortion is now illegal without Roe.
Wisconsin’s current law limited abortions to the 22nd week of pregnancy, and required consultations with a counselor and doctor prior followed by a 24-hour waiting period prior to the procedure. The state also required minors be accompanied by an adult relative over the age of 25. After today’s Supreme Court decision, a 1849 Wisconsin law outlawing abortions will be triggered, but Attorney General Josh Kaul has said the law is antiquated and unenforceable.
Candidates wasted no time Friday stating their abortion positions.
“Today is a victory for life and for those who have fought for decades to protect the unborn,” Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson said in a statement. “This decision will now allow that democratic process to unfold in each state to determine at what point does society have the responsibility to protect life.”
Republican candidates for governor all cheered the decision to end Roe.
“Now the abortion debate goes back to states like Wisconsin, where it always belonged. As a state we must hold firm for the voiceless and protect their right to life — and that means enforcing the laws we have on the books,” Republican Rebecca Kleefisch said Friday. “I remain committed to my 100% pro-life stance.”
“The Constitution was designed to protect Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The issue of abortion has been returned to the American people, where it should have always been,” candidate Kevin Nicholson said on Twitter.
Republican frontrunner Tim Michels also took to Twitter to say “life must be protected.”
“The pro-life movement does not end with today’s victory. In fact, it’s vital that we grow stronger,” Michels said.
The Republican candidates for Attorney General in Wisconsin said the SCOTUS decision Friday makes their race much more important.
“I applaud the court for protecting innocent life. Unlike the lawlessness of our failed Attorney General, Josh Kaul, I will uphold Wisconsin law,” candidate Adam Jarchow said.
“This is and always should have been a state issue. I am pro-life, proudly endorsed by Wisconsin Right to Life, and I will enforce and defend the laws as passed by the legislature and signed into law,” Fond Du Lac District Attorney Eric Toney and AG candidate said.
For his part, Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul has said in the past that he won’t enforce Wisconsin’s abortion ban.
On Friday he condemned the Dobbs decisions.
“Today’s decision in Dobbs reverses that progress, taking us backwards almost 50 years. It leaves women less free and at greater risk of suffering harm to their health during pregnancy,” Kaul said on Twitter.
“This decision will punish women and cost people their lives. The American people deserve elected leaders who will go to the mat to protect our basic freedoms and that’s what I intend to do. It’s past time to abolish the filibuster and make Roe the law of the land,” Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mandela Barnes said in a statement.
“We must eliminate the filibuster and undo this attack on the fundamental and essential freedoms of women,” Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alex Lasry said. “This restriction on abortion care will harm women across the country, especially low-income and women of color. This is setting an incredibly deadly precedent across our nation.”
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