Wisconsin attorney general again calls on Legislature to address 1849 abortion law

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul Abortion Lawsuit
WISC-TV/Channel 3000

MADISON, Wis. — A day after he filed a lawsuit to block the enforcement of Wisconsin’s abortion law passed in 1849, attorney general Josh Kaul again called on the Legislature to address the law he currently considers unenforceable.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Kaul said his complaints in the lawsuit could easily be addressed by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

“We’re going to see a lot of people traveling out of the state of Wisconsin to Minnesota or to Illinois while we work to get these issues resolved, but I would ask: where is our Legislature?” Kaul said Wednesday. “This is a huge event in the state of Wisconsin and I haven’t seen any indication that they’re going to come back and take action.”

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos criticized Kaul and Gov. Tony Evers for filing the lawsuit Tuesday instead of working with the Legislature. Gov. Evers called a special session last week before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade to update the state’s law, which was passed in 1849 and criminalizes all abortions — with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest — unless the mother’s life is in danger.

Republicans gaveled out of the session in seconds without taking action, ending the session with no debate.

RELATED: Evers, Kaul filing challenge to Wisconsin’s criminal abortion ban in wake of Supreme Court ruling

“We’re going to move as quickly as we can through the courts, but having the Legislature come into session and take action right now is key,” Kaul said Tuesday. “I hope every Wisconsinite who is concerned with this issue contacts their legislators and demands that they come into session because that’s what’s ultimately going to lead them to do something.”

Republicans such as Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu have said their position on abortion has not changed. Vos said Tuesday that he believes the courts will uphold the Civil War-era ban on abortion.

“For the governor and attorney general to try and use the courts to enact law is just as wrong as the original Roe v Wade decision over 50 years ago,” Vos said in a statement Tuesday. “I’m confident our courts will see through their tactics and uphold the law.”