by Ben Yount
After spending millions of dollars on campaign ads to paint Tim Michels as radical on abortion, Gov. Tony Evers is calling Michels dishonest for being open to exemptions to Wisconsin’s strict abortion law.
Michels on Friday told News Talk 1130 WISN’s Dan O’Donnell that he would sign a law allowing women who are the victims of rape or incest to get an abortion in the state.
“I am pro-life and make no apologies for that. But I also understand that this is a representative democracy. And if the people, in this case, the legislature, brought a bill before me, as you just stated, I would sign that,” Michels said.
Wisconsin’s current abortion law only allows for exemptions to save a mother’s life.
Evers had made abortion the centerpiece of his re-electon bid. He is running several ads that say Michels would not support exemptions for rape and incest.
On Friday, the governor all but called Michels a liar.
“Tim Michels is trying to save his flailing campaign with a dishonest attempt to hide his stance on abortion, even after making it clear just two weeks ago that he’s ‘not gonna soften’ his stance,” Evers said in a statement.
Michels told a Republican crowd earlier this month that he planned to stick to his pro-life stance because “I’m principled. And my wife and I, we know we have to answer to somebody higher than anybody on the face of the earth.”
Evers doubled-down on his campaign ads that say Michels is a pro-life radical.
“Michels has staked out the most extreme position possible on this issue, and as governor, wouldn’t hesitate to enact radical legislation that would put women’s lives at risk,” the governor added in his statement. “He’ll say or do anything to win an election, and he can’t be trusted to protect reproductive freedom.”
It’s unclear if the Wisconsin legislature would even consider introducing an exemption law.
Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu last week said attitudes about abortion among the Republicans who control the legislature remains the same.
“Wisconsin law has not changed and our pro-life position has not changed,” LeMahieu said.
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