MADISON- Today, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its anticipated ruling in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case.
Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) issued the following statement in response:
“I’m furious with the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which seizes our right to make decisions for ourselves and our right to privacy. The majority of Wisconsinites and Americans support legal access to abortion – that’s a fact. Today’s decision flies in the face of that majority support, setting a dangerous new precedent that erodes people’s rights to bodily autonomy and determination of their futures.
“Wisconsin’s state statutes include a criminal abortion ban from 1849, which could jail doctors and nurses for providing abortions. Just two days ago, the State Legislature had the opportunity to meet in a special session called by the governor to repeal this law. Unfortunately, Republican leadership wouldn’t even let us debate the bill, instead choosing to gavel the special session in and out within mere seconds. While I came to the Capitol eager to vote to repeal Wisconsin’s criminal abortion law, I’m terribly disappointed that my colleagues across the aisle couldn’t meet the moment in the way their constituents demanded. Every legislator must tell their constituents where they stand – do they support Wisconsin’s law to jail medical professionals who provide an abortion to someone who needs it? I’m a coauthor of legislation to repeal our state’s criminal abortion ban, and I will continue to work to pass this bill so we can guarantee our right to choose.
“What does the Supreme Court ruling mean for Wisconsin moving forward? Most likely, the courts will have to decide whether and how our pre-Roe ban could be enforced, based on years of case law that have transpired since the 1849 ban was first enacted. The Legislature can and should act immediately to repeal this law.
“Everyone deserves the freedom to determine their futures and the rights to agency and privacy when making medical decisions. Everyone also deserves to make the choices that are right for themselves and their families about whether or when to have a child, and they deserve to be able to raise their family in a safe and healthy environment. Being able to make personal decisions about our bodies is central to every person’s liberty.
“The fight for our reproductive freedoms is far from over. I stand with the majority of people in our state and our country who support our right to make decisions for ourselves, and who are grieving for the loss of our collective rights today. While this decision is deeply disheartening and will no doubt inspire anger, fear, and sadness in many people, I want you to know that I stand with you and will not stop fighting for our rights. We will not go back.”