MADISON, WI – Today, Governor Evers took a strong stand to protect the health and well-being of people in Wisconsin by vetoing five bills that would have added restrictions to abortion and birth control access – the very means women rely on to prevent unintended pregnancy and abortion. Abortion in Wisconsin is already extremely limited and heavily restricted, including a law banning all abortion that could go into effect if Roe is overturned. These bills restricting health care access were rushed through the Legislature over the objections of the medical community and despite an urgent need to improve health disparities that are being exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Statement from Tanya Atkinson, President of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin
“Time and time again, the GOP members of the Legislature have demonstrated just how far they are willing to go to restrict access to abortion and birth control through the passage of these new bills. This includes their refusal to repeal Wisconsin’s 172-year-old law outlawing all abortion. If it were not for the leadership of Governor Evers, people would face even greater barriers in their attempt to access the health care they need.
While the Republicans prioritized the passage of these dangerous and unnecessary bills, they continued to ignore the health and wellbeing of our families, friends and communities. More than 321,000 women living in poverty in Wisconsin continue to go without access to birth control and Black people in Wisconsin continue to experience some of the worst health disparities in the country due in part to structural racism and reduced access to needed services. These health disparities could be addressed through expanded access to Medicaid and support for proposals like the Governor’s Healthy Women, Healthy Babies budget initiative. Instead of supporting these investments in our communities, Republican members of our Legislature are focused on adding more barriers to abortion. Given the fragile state of Roe v. Wade, our Legislature should turn its focus to repealing Wisconsin’s criminal abortion ban to ensure that everyone has access to the care they need, regardless of what the Supreme Court decides to do.
Planned Parenthood believes having a healthy community means making sure everybody has access to all the health care they need, including abortion – without fear, shame, or stigma. We thank Governor Evers for protecting access to essential health care and call on members of the Legislature to prioritize the health of our communities by improving access to health care so we can be safe, healthy and strong.”