Sister Bay, WI (September 30, 2022) – At a women’s reproductive rights panel discussion hosted by Northern Door Activism, three women candidates and Green Bay Dr. Kristin Lyerly OB-GYN commented on the current state of women’s reproductive health care in Wisconsin and stressed the importance of the upcoming midterm elections on November 8th. The candidates included State Assembly representative Sara Rodriguez who is running for Lieutenant Governor alongside Governor Tony Evers, Andrea Gage-Michaels who is running for State Senate District 1, and Roberta Thelen who is running for State Assembly District 1. Hosted in Sister Bay at the Peach Barn Brewery, the four panelists answered a series of questions directly related to women’s healthcare access before a reception with the 75 attendees.
The panelists expressed their grave concern with the state’s current abortion ban, which dates back to 1849, and discussed how the ban not only negatively impacts women and families, but has repercussions on the medical community and the economy at large in Wisconsin. “Women don’t have a sensor on them that tells us when their lives are in danger, so we have to use our clinical judgment. If (my patient and I) make that decision together, that’s a life-saving decision according to medical literature. But is the Sheboygan DA going to see it that way? Because it’s a felony for me to save my patient’s life. It’s not malpractice, but it’s a felony. And that costs my career, that’s my medical license, that’s my life,” expressed Dr. Kristin Lyerly OB-GYN.
“Medical students and trainees here in Wisconsin are wondering: is it safe for me to stay here and train here? Am I going to get proper training? Am I going to get comprehensive training so I will be able to take care of my patients? Is it safe for me to stay here and practice in the future? Because there are a lot of other places with physician and nurse shortages too. Down the road it will be our rural communities that will suffer the most.”
One panel question addressed the concern about potential birth control bans in the future, asking “is access to contraceptives something we need to be concerned about?” Rep. Rodriguez answered, “Yes. My Republican colleagues already have the legislation written. Michels has said one of the first things he would do is sign every single piece of legislation that Governor Evers vetoed. There are some really extreme, radical pieces of legislation that Governor Evers has vetoed including 5 bills which are anti-abortion. It is going to happen if we have a republican governor or a supermajority within the assembly and the senate.”
The compelling discussion lasted an hour and tackled several critical topics, but Gage-Michaels left the audience with a message of hope and empowerment. “I really think that reproductive justice is justice for all of us. Remembering that and taking that forward and talking about this with your family members, talking about this everywhere you go – that is the way we are going to affect change.”
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To learn more about the upcoming election, including local voting information visit: https://www.co.door.wi.gov/422/Voter-Election-Information
To learn more about the candidates, see the following links: