MADISON — Today, Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, once again slammed Ron Johnson for supporting a national abortion ban and cosponsoring a bill that made no exception for rape, incest, or life of the woman. Yesterday, Johnson once again attempted to hide his extreme record when asked by reporters, instead proposing a referendum that even he admitted is “not possible in Wisconsin,” according to reporting from 

Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes released the following statement:

“Ron Johnson can’t hide from his anti-choice record –– from his cosponsorship of a bill that made no exception for rape, incest, or life of the woman to his callous comments telling women who oppose abortion bans they ‘can move.’ Voters will hold him accountable for his efforts to rip away the right for women to make choices about their own bodies this fall.” 

This comes as Barnes kicked off his statewide “Ron Against Roe” tour holding Johnson accountable for his record of working to rip away Wisconsinites’ ability to access abortion, and has launched a new ad targeting Johnson on the issue. While Ron Johnson continues to lie about his extreme anti-choice record and distract voters from his support for a nationwide abortion ban, Wisconsinites know there’s only one candidate in this race who is fighting to protect reproductive rights—and that’s Mandela Barnes.

In Wisconsin, abortion remains one of the most motivating issues for voters across the state, with 61% of Democrats and 42% of Independents listing abortion as a top issue this year. 55% of voters said they would support an abortion rights candidate over a Republican who favors strict limits on abortion. 

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U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson today said he thinks there should be a ballot referendum asking voters specifics about their views on abortion, but acknowledged that’s not possible in Wisconsin.

The Oshkosh Republican told reporters at a Milwaukee event today he believes he’s proposed “the best way of settling this, at least in Wisconsin,” which he says is to hold a referendum. Wisconsin voters currently don’t have the ability right now to put forward statewide referendums or ballot initiatives. Dem Gov. Tony Evers last week called on the Legislature to hold a special session and take up a measure that would allow voters to do so.

Johnson last month dismissed Evers’ proposal as a political move that divides the public. Evers in his proposal cited Johnson as inspiration.

Johnson today said he hasn’t yet looked at the governor’s plan, adding “I’m proposing something pretty specific.”

“I’ve literally designed a ballot, kind of written something up,” he said. “Ten different answers to the question. One question, 10 different slots. At what point do you protect life? At conception, after a month, two months, three months, four months?”

Johnson also today said he knows his plan can’t yet be implemented.

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