Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers wants to give voters a say on the status of abortion in Wisconsin. Evers has proposed a special session of the Legislature, to take up a constitutional amendment allowing statewide referendums.
Evers said that could provide a pathway for Wisconsin voters to repeal the state’s 1849 law which criminalizes abortion. Republicans quickly rejected the idea.
During a press conference at the Capitol on Wednesday, Evers cited Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, who has said the issue of abortion ought to be resolved by voters in the states.
“I heard it directly from Senator Johnson’s mouth. He said look let’s let the people take care of this. And we agree with him.”
BREAKING: Today, I’m calling the Legislature into special session to create a pathway for Wisconsin voters to repeal Wisconsin’s 1849-era criminal abortion ban and ensure Wisconsin women have the reproductive freedom they deserve. #RoevWade pic.twitter.com/rhPpElsgCr
— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) September 21, 2022
The Democratic governor said voters in both parties are “appalled” by the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade. ”We had fifty years of rights that suddenly disappeared overnight, and a legislature that is unwilling to even discuss it. That’s disgusting.”
But Johnson and Republican legislative leaders were quick to reject the idea. Johnson accused Democrats of exploiting the issue by politicizing it before an election. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu called the proposal a “desperate political stunt.”
JS w/ @SenatorDevin: “Governor Evers would rather push his agenda to have abortion available until birth than talk about his failure to address rising crime and runaway inflation caused by his liberal DC allies. Hopefully, voters see through his desperate political stunt.”
— Speaker Robin Vos (@SpeakerVos) September 21, 2022
The Republican led legislature has not convened for any of Evers’ previous special session calls.