MADISON, Wis. – Tim Michels’ position on reproductive freedom and abortion access is not only dangerous and radical, but also completely out of touch with what Wisconsinites believe.
Despite recent desperate attempts to rewrite his own radical history, Michels cannot escape the reality that he spent months staking out the most extreme position on abortion. Michels has supported a restrictive, no-exception abortion policy for decades. He has called the 1849 law that includes no exceptions for rape or incest an “exact mirror” of his position and said he will not “soften” his stance. He even said during his 2004 run for Senate that it was “not unreasonable” to force rape victims to give birth to the children of their attackers.
Michels has also put his money where his mouth is, donating thousands of dollars to organizations that seek to ban abortion with no exceptions while his family’s foundation gave thousands more to a group that tracks the cell phones of women visiting Planned Parenthood clinics. One group backed by Michels also supports controversial tactics like sidewalk harassment of women seeking abortions and has sought to eliminate the exception for the life of the mother from the 1849 ban, and ban all contraception and IVF.
Michels’ stance on abortion is much more extreme than that of the majority of Wisconsinites. A recent Marquette poll showed that 65% of Wisconsinites believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, and that even 79% of Republicans agree that abortion should be legal in cases of rape or incest.
Governor Evers has and will continue doing the right thing to protect a person’s ability to make their own reproductive health care decisions. This month, Gov. Evers convened a Special Session of the State Legislature to create a pathway for voters to repeal the dangerously restrictive 1849 abortion ban through a referenda process. He remains the last line of defense in Wisconsin on protecting access to abortion, having vetoed nine Republican bills that would have restricted abortion and reproductive freedom, and launching a lawsuit to challenge Wisconsin’s abortion ban in court.
“Governor Evers is the only pro-choice candidate for governor who is fighting to get politicians out of reproductive healthcare,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Rapid Response Director Hannah Menchhoff. “Tim Michels’ long history supporting an extreme abortion ban without exceptions for rape and incest stands on its own. Michels has told us for decades where he stands on abortion and we need to believe him.”