MILWAUKEE – Today the County Board rejected a resolution that would have placed a referendum question on Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion law on the November 2022 ballot.

The resolution was authored by Supervisor Ryan Clancy and co-sponsored by Supervisors Sequanna Taylor, Priscilla Coggs-Jones, Juan Miguel Martinez, Peter Burgelis, Felesia A. Martin, and Willie Johnson Jr.

Supervisors Martin, Clancy, and Martinez released the following statement on the final vote:

“This resolution was not a vote on abortion. It was not a vote on a policy, a study, or any other practical effort to protect abortion access. This resolution would have allowed Milwaukee County residents to voice their opinion on a statewide abortion ban that is 173 years old. Not one single member of the State Legislature, Milwaukee County Board, or any other elected body in our state was alive in 1849 when this law was adopted. Likewise, not a single Milwaukee resident alive today has ever had the opportunity to register their opinion at the ballot box on this law.


“Unfortunately, come November, this will not change. By refusing to place a referendum on the November ballot, the County Board has silenced the voices of hundreds of thousands of Milwaukee voters. No elected body can legislative effectively without meaningful input from the people they serve.


“Abortion access is a human right – it is healthcare. This is not debatable by any legislative body in our state or country. Today, while we lament the decision by our colleagues to vote against this referendum, we applaud the advocacy and passion of those who fought hard to get this on the ballot and who continue to fight for abortion access across Wisconsin.”

The resolution was defeated by a vote of 11-6, with Supervisors Deanna Alexander, Patti Logsdon, Shawn Rolland, Anthony Staskunas, Liz Sumner, and Steve Taylor voting against placing a referendum on the November ballot.

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