Physicians Urge Speaker Vos to Allow Will of Voters, Including on Abortion, to Stand
MADISON — As the Wisconsin State Legislature’s October floor period proceeds and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos refuses to confirm or deny whether he’ll move to impeach Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz, more than 250 medical professionals across the state have signed a letter calling on Republican leaders to cease these threats. Three of the signers gathered virtually on Thursday to discuss how impeaching Justice Protasiewicz would undermine the will of the voters on critical issues including abortion access.
“As doctors, we’re speaking out because our state Supreme Court impacts issues we care deeply about on behalf of our patients and our communities, and one of those critical issues is abortion access,” said Dr. Ann Helms, a Milwaukee critical care neurologist and the Committee’s Wisconsin State Lead. “In April, over one million Wisconsin voters elected Justice Janet Protasiewicz to the state Supreme Court. Now, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and some Republican leaders are threatening to throw those election results out the window, just because they don’t like them. This is anti-democratic. It’s not what voters want, and it’s not what the hundreds of medical professionals who are speaking out want.”
A statewide public poll by “A Better Wisconsin Together” shows that Wisconsin voters overwhelmingly oppose the Republican scheme to impeach Justice Protasiewicz — by 24 points.
“As doctors, we agree that decisions around pregnancy and abortion should be made between patients and their doctors, without political interference. It’s a matter of bodily autonomy. It can also be a matter of health, fertility, and life or death,” said Dr. Madelaine Tully, a family physician in Milwaukee County and member of the Committee. “Voters had these critical issues in mind when they elected Justice Protasiewicz. Their votes should be heard, and their values should be reflected in the makeup of our state Supreme Court.”
Six in 10 Wisconsinites support abortion access in most or all cases. More than 80 percent of Wisconsinites believe abortion should be legal in cases of rape and incest — and Wisconsin’s abortion ban, which the Republican-led Legislature has affirmed multiple times, doesn’t allow exceptions for rape or incest. And, in April, Wisconsin voters elected Justice Janet Protasiewicz to the state Supreme Court by 10 percentage points: 55.5 percent to 45.5 percent.
“Wisconsin voters deserve to have their health care values reflected in the makeup of our state Legislature and our state Supreme Court,” said Dr. Bob Freedland, La Crosse ophthalmologist and member of the Committee. “Just as patients deserve to make their own decisions about their pregnancies and have them heard, so too do voters deserve to make their own decisions about their elected officials and have them heard. It’s time for Speaker Vos and leaders in the Legislature to listen not just to doctors and medical professionals, but to our patients and our neighbors — the vast majority of Wisconsin voters.”
The Committee to Protect Health Care is a national mobilization of doctors, health care professionals, and advocates who are building a pro-patient health care majority in Congress and in states so that we can live in an America where everyone has the health care they need to thrive.
To learn more: www.committeetoprotect.org