Wisconsin leaders react to Supreme Court decision throwing out Roe v. Wade
MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin’s elected officials quickly reacted Friday morning after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, reverting the state back to a law it has had on the books since 1849 that criminalizes abortion with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.
Below are statements being issued by lawmakers at the local, state and federal level in the wake of the decision.
State Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R):
“This is a massive victory for the sanctity of life in our Nation. The Supreme Court’s long-awaited decision restores lawmaking authority to the states and finally gives Wisconsin voters a voice in how they want to protect the most vulnerable.”
“The surge of violence and on-going threats by pro-abortion extremists will not intimidate or deter us from upholding every individual’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Assembly Minority Leader Rep. Greta Neubauer (D):
“Let’s call this what it is: a brazen, political act that rolls back essential human rights. By striking down a precedent of nearly 50 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has sent our country back to the 1970’s and Wisconsin back to the 1840’s.
“During Governor Evers’ special session on protecting reproductive care, we had an opportunity to protect Wisconsinites’ access to abortion, but legislative Republicans ignored the call and the will of the people of Wisconsin. Republicans’ unwillingness to act is inexcusable, and they will be directly responsible for the negative outcomes of this decision. The Supreme Court’s decision to throw out historically enshrined protections and the GOP’s inaction will have significant consequences for our friends, families, neighbors, and communities.
“Let me be clear: we will not stop fighting for access to comprehensive healthcare, including abortion. While today hurts, we will not be deterred in our pursuit of reproductive rights.”
State Senator Kelda Roys (D):
“Five conservative extremists have traded the US Supreme Court’s legitimacy and the legal personhood of women for their own selfish crusade to impose their narrow religious views on an unwilling nation. Despite some four out of five Americans wanting abortion to remain safe and legal, five Justices have voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, rendering abortion illegal or unavailable in about half the states, including Wisconsin.
Wisconsinites now face a difficult road to accessing abortion, with an 1849 criminal abortion ban still on the books, along with many restrictions and regulations on abortion been passed over the last 50 years. Because of the legal uncertainty, many physicians will not risk felony charges and years in prison to continue providing abortion care. States where abortion remains legal will be overwhelmed with demand, so it will be challenging even for those with the means to travel. To change this, we must have political leaders who support the right to choose and who will work to restore our legal rights, at every level of government.
That said, Wisconsinites can safely and legally self-manage abortions now and in the future. Medication abortion is safe, easy to use, and private – every person of reproductive age should order one now at AidAccess.org. It costs about $100 and takes approximately 4 weeks to arrive, so it’s important to order now before you need it, since it must be taken in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy for maximum effectiveness. There are currently NO legal penalties for people who self-manage abortion – despite the efforts of GOP politicians.
When abortion is illegal, women die. Millions of people’s lives will be made worse by these five right-wing justices, and our nation as a whole is less fair, less healthy, and less free as a result of today’s lawless and unjust decision. I will continue to fight for reproductive freedom and justice for everyone. Being able to control our own bodies and our own reproduction is not just a constitutional imperative but a fundamental human right that no judge or politician can erase.”
State Senator Melissa Agard (D):
“This is a horrible day for our country. For decades, Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey have protected the reproductive freedom for millions of Americans and Wisconsinites. Now, in our dystopic reality, our children will have fewer freedom than their parents.
“Every person must have the right to make reproductive healthcare decisions that are best for them. No government should interfere with complex medical decisions made privately between a person and their doctor. Instead, the extremist conservative members of the U.S. Supreme Court have prioritized their overtly partisan agenda rather than upholding the sacred right to bodily autonomy.
“Safe, accessible abortions have been vital health care for so many people across our country and in Wisconsin. This ruling today is an enormous overreach in effort to control and dehumanize reproductive healthcare. Forcing someone to continue a pregnancy against their will is an assault on their fundamental rights and liberty.
“In Wisconsin, this means our state may go back to an archaic 173-year-old law that banned abortion. Less than a year after we became a state, white male legislators passed an abortion ban that may now go back into effect because we never codified Roe or passed the Abortion Rights Preservation Act. Some Wisconsinites will go out of state to receive the care they need—but many will be forced to have unsafe, illegal abortions here. This is unacceptable, and this isn’t the Wisconsin way.
“I am disgusted and ashamed by this decision. As Wisconsinites, we must come together and take action to protect reproductive freedom for all of the people in our state.”
U.S. Senate Candidates
Mandela Barnes (D):
“Like it does for so many Americans, this decision hits close to home for me. I might not be here today if Roe v. Wade hadn’t allowed my mother to make the best decision for her health and safety.
“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.”
Sarah Godlewski (D):
“Today, millions of women and families in Wisconsin and across America are waking up to this devastating news: we no longer have the right to make our own health care decisions. It’s time to act, to mobilize, and to take back our rights and freedoms. Ron Johnson and the Republicans won’t stop until abortion is banned, doctors are criminalized, and women are punished in every corner of America. This is personal for me, I do not want my generation or the next generation to have fewer rights. When I’m elected to the Senate, reproductive freedom will be a priority not an afterthought.”
Rep. Mark Pocan (D):
“I’m angry — but I’m not surprised. Republicans have been working to eliminate abortion for years, and they won’t stop here. The domino effect this decision could have on our rights is horrifying. We must turn our anger into urgency, and act immediately to protect our freedoms.”
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