Republicans say they will immediately gavel out of Evers’ special session on abortion law
MADISON, Wis. — Republicans who control the Wisconsin State Legislature say they will immediately gavel out of a special session ordered by Gov. Tony Evers Wednesday to repeal the state’s 172-year-old law banning abortions, even in cases of incest or rape.
Evers ordered the special session, scheduled to be held later this month on June 22, saying he believes Wisconsinites should be able to choose the best course of action for themselves.
“I know not everyone shares the same views about abortion, but here’s what I do know: Every single Wisconsinite should have the right to consult their family, their faith, their doctor to make a reproductive health care decision that’s right for them,” Evers said during his announcement.
The governor wanted the legislature to throw out the state law that has been on the books since 1849, but was rendered moot by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. Evers and other Democrats have expressed a desire to codify access to abortion in anticipation of the Supreme Court reversing course and overturning Roe v. Wade, which could happen sometime this month.
However, responding to Evers’ order on Wednesday afternoon, Wisconsin State Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu says Republicans will refuse to take up the special session because Roe v. Wade is still in effect and abortion is still legal in Wisconsin as of now.
“Wisconsin law has not changed and our pro-life position has not changed,” LeMahieu said in his statement, promising to gavel out of another special session.
If Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, each state in the country would see its abortion laws revert back to what they were before 1973. Attorney General Josh Kaul says if that were to happen, he would discourage local district attorneys and law enforcement offices from enforcing the ban. Currently, only three counties in Wisconsin — Dane, Milwaukee and Sheboygan — have places that offer abortion services.
Evers has called several special sessions during his administration, only to see them immediately ended within seconds with no action by the Republican-controlled legislature, including sessions to address a projected budget surplus, unemployment, BadgerCare expansion, public school funding, gun control, and police reform.
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