La CROSSE — Gov. Tony Evers told a rally at the Democratic state convention today that he would grant clemency to any Wisconsin physicians convicted of performing an abortion under the state’s 1849 law banning the procedure in most cases.
Evers said he takes the Supreme Court’s decision personally.
“I have seven granddaughters who are girls or young women,” Evers said. “Yesterday they were made second-class citizens, and that’s bullshit!”
The first-term Dem guv. running for reelection this year, also said he would exercise his gubernatorial power to pardon those convicted of criminal offenses. Dem AG Josh Kaul has said he wouldn’t use any Department of Justice resources enforcing the 173-year-old ban. But other law enforcement likely could enforce the ban, which makes it a felony to perform an abortion except to save the life of the mother.
Evers also said he is still considering an executive action to limit the potential for law enforcement to enforce the 19th-century law, but has not yet decided because he’s not sure yet if it’s the best move. He didn’t offer any specifics.
Kaul at the rally urged county and local law enforcement to be as clear as him where they stand on enforcing the ban. He also said the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn abortion protections in Roe v. Wade made the AG race this November even more important as legal experts question enforceability of Wisconsin’s abortion ban.
He said there’s a clear contrast between him and his opponents on the issue.
“The leading Republicans have been giddy about this decision,” he said. “They’ve celebrated. They have attacked me for the position that I’ve taken.”