By Tanya Atkinson
Across the country, access to abortion and other reproductive health care services are under attack. In Idaho, the State Legislature just passed a bill banning abortion at six weeks, which Republican Gov. Brad Little is expected to sign into law. In Missouri, a state lawmaker proposed a bill criminalizing traveling out of state for an abortion and another has proposed banning abortion in the case of an ectopic pregnancy – putting women’s lives at risk. In Wisconsin, Republicans have followed suit, introducing a ban abortion as early as six weeks— but their attacks on reproductive health care have been repeatedly blocked thanks to Gov. Tony Evers.
Thanks to the leadership of Evers, access to birth control, cancer screens and abortion has been protected for people in Wisconsin. Evers trusts women to make their own health decisions and understands that improved access to birth control, STD testing and cancer screenings empowers people to lead healthier, better lives.
Evers also knows that health care restrictions fall hardest on Black, Latino and Indigenous people in Wisconsin with low incomes, and people living in rural areas. That is why he worked to address racial health inequities by proposing investments in Black and brown lead, community-based organizations to improve women’s wellness and reduce disparities in maternal and infant health.
Time and time again, Republicans blocked these proposals and instead advanced policies to undermine people’s health care access. Evers vetoed every Republican bill that would reduce health care access and harm people’s health. If Republicans take back the Governor’s Office in 2022, people’s health and freedoms would truly be at risk because of their extreme political agenda.
Alarmingly, every single Republican running for governor this year opposes women’s access to birth control and safe and legal abortion. Despite the tragedy that continues to unfold every day in Texas impacting the lives of women and their families, Republican candidates for governor have committed to do everything they can to deny people the health care they need. This is not the future that women in Wisconsin deserve. Our family members, friends, and neighbors— should not be denied the ability to safely access time-sensitive health care.
GOP gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch, who as lieutenant governor worked to pass five bills limiting critical reproductive health care access, is one of the worst offenders — supporting a ban on abortion and agreeing that survivors of rape should “turn lemons into lemonade” forcing them to continue a pregnancy, instead of having the freedom to make their own, personal health care decisions.
Her rival, Kevin Nicholson, shares the same extreme views on abortion, supporting a total ban with no exceptions, and pushing policies that could also limit access to contraception and slash access to cancer screenings for thousands of Wisconsinites.
Deciding if or when to become a parent is one of the most personal and life-changing decisions many people will make. While we may have differing views about abortion, most of us can agree that we want our friends and family to be able to get the care they need when they need it. We don’t want politicians to make these personal decisions for us or the people we care about.
That is why Evers has taken proactive measures to protect abortion rights, by introducing a bill to repeal Wisconsin’s 172-year-old abortion law, which bans abortion at any stage of pregnancy with no exceptions for rape, incest or the health of the woman, which could go into effect if Roe V. Wade is overturned. Not one Republican has signed on to this bill so access to safe and legal abortion in Wisconsin remains at risk.
We have the ability to support a different vision of Wisconsin’s future, which is also supported by the vast majority of Wisconsinites. That vision represents a future where everyone has the ability to make their own health care decisions and access the health care they need – including abortion. In Wisconsin, that starts with re-electing Evers and Attorney General Kaul this year. They have demonstrated time and again their belief in that same vision, and take ACTION. They do everything in their power to protect and expand access to critical reproductive health care, No Matter What. Let’s do everything in our power to re-elect Evers and Kaul this November.