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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Wisconsin Republican lawmakers reject repeal of abortion bans

Madison, Wis. – Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ bid to repeal the battleground state’s defunct abortion ban failed Wednesday when Republican lawmakers convened and adjourned a special session without taking immediate action.

Wisconsin banned abortion in addition to saving the mother’s life in 1849, a year after becoming a state. The landmark 1973 decision of the US Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide and overturned the ban.

The court is expected to rule this month in a case that could end Roe v. Wade, which would allow Wisconsin’s ban to take effect. The lawmakers had to meet after Evers called the Legislature to a special session this month, but they were not required to vote on the issue.

Republicans called Evers’ move a political stunt designed to appease the Democratic base as he faces re-election.

Senate President Chris Kapenga turned in and out in 14 seconds just after noon. Democratic Sen. Tim Carpenter shouted “Objection!” no point. Kapenga walked down the floor without saying anything.

Kapenga later issued a statement calling the special session “a calculated campaign step” and noting that the Supreme Court has yet to issue its decision.

About 90 minutes after Kapenga’s action, Assembly Republicans called to order his session and adjourned within 25 seconds.

Evers has tried several times during his first term to force the legislature into special sessions to take on Popular Democratic bills, including gun control measures, Medicaid expansion, and upgrading the state’s unemployment benefits system. Each time Republicans went in and out without a debate.

The governor criticized Republicans for refusing to repeal the abortion ban.

“(Republicans) are helping our children and grandchildren grow up in a world where they have less rights than we do growing up – and that’s wrong,” Evers said.

Assembly Democratic Minority Leader Greta Neubauer and Senate Democratic Minority Leader Janet Bewley pledged to fight for the new legislation.

The two-year legislative session ended in March. The next regular session doesn’t start until January.

Dozens of people gathered in the Capitol Rotunda before Republican leaders took to the stage to protest the impending Supreme Court ruling and the GOP’s plans. There were many women in the crowd.

He was wearing a pink T-shirt with the words “I Stand With Planned Parenthood” and “Banes of Our Bodies.” They had signs saying “The GOP Wants to Party Like It’s 1849” and “Abortion is Health Care” and they said “Not the Church, Not the State, Only We Decide Our Destiny!” Slogans.

Officials from the State Administration Department, which oversees Capitol Police, did not immediately respond to a message speculating on the number of protesters.

A statewide Marquette University Law School survey released Wednesday showed that 58% of respondents believe abortion should be legal in most or all cases, while 35% said it should be illegal. Those numbers have remained consistent over the years and haven’t shifted after the leak of a US Supreme Court draft opinion that would have undone Roe v. Wade.

The state’s ban on reversing Roe v. Wade can be challenged in court.

A big question is how the ban will interact with a related state law passed in 1985, which prohibits abortion after the fetus has reached viability but exempts women whose health is at risk from continuing the pregnancy. may fall into. Abortion-rights groups have argued for a broader interpretation of that exemption to include emotional and mental health.

Wisconsin Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul has said he thinks the 1849 law is too old to be enforced. He has also said that if it takes effect, he will not investigate or prosecute doctors who perform abortions.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, which operates three abortion clinics in the state, has stopped scheduling procedures after June 25. Clinics in some other locations have also stopped scheduling.

The special session comes six weeks after the anti-abortion group Wisconsin Family Action’s Madison office was ransacked. The police haven’t arrested anyone yet.

Republican nominee for governor Tim Michels called Evers this week to put the Wisconsin National Guard on notice for similar acts, and Roe v. Wade to prepare for “imminent acts of mass civil disobedience” upon reversal.


Associated Press writers Scott Bauer and Harm Venuizen contributed to this report. Venhuizen is a core member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on secret issues. Twitter at https://twitter.com/HarmVenhuizen . but follow him

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