search
Sections List
American Journal News

Assembly lawmakers pass 14-week abortion ban Evers has vowed to veto

Assembly Republicans passed a bill on Thursday that would ask voters to decide whether Wisconsin would implement a 14-week abortion ban, tightening the state’s current 20-week abortion ban.

By Baylor Spears, Wisconsin Examiner - January 26, 2024
Share
Protesters gathered outside the state Capitol building in Madison, Wis., Friday, June 24, 2022 evening in advance of a protest.
Protesters gathered outside the state Capitol building in Madison, Wis., Friday, June 24, 2022 evening in advance of a protest. The Supreme Court on Friday stripped away women’s constitutional protections for abortion, a fundamental and deeply personal change for Americans' lives after nearly a half-century under Roe v. Wade. The court’s overturning of the landmark court ruling is likely to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. (AP Photo/Harm Venhuizen)

Assembly Republicans passed a bill on Thursday that would ask voters to decide whether Wisconsin would implement a 14-week abortion ban, tightening the state’s current 20-week abortion ban. 

Throughout two-and-a-half hours of heated debate on the bill, Democrats argued that politicians need to stay out of people’s medical decisions completely, while Republicans argued it was time to allow voters to have a say on whether the state’s abortion restrictions get stricter and that abortion was not health care. Many Republicans also felt the 14-week abortion ban didn’t go far enough. The bill passed 53-46.

“Consensual abortions up to 20 weeks are legal in Wisconsin today. They are being legally performed in Milwaukee, Madison and Sheboygan,” bill coauthor Rep. Amanda Nedweski (R-Pleasant Prairie) said during a press conference. “Despite disappointing efforts of some pro-life organizations to mischaracterize AB 975, the truth is that as of right now, there is no 1849 abortion ban in effect. That is the sad reality.” 

Republicans introduced the bill at the end of last week, and quickly gave it a public hearing, where physicians, medical students and pro-life groups testified against the bill, on the 51st anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

The bill is Republicans’ latest proposal that would tighten abortion laws in Wisconsin since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision, which eliminated federal abortion protections. It also comes after a decision by a Dane County judge that Wisconsin’s 1849 law, which had been widely interpreted as banning almost all abortions, actually applies only to feticide. Sheboygan County District Attorney Joel Urmanski is appealing the decision to the state Supreme Court.

“It’s… nothing more than a proposal to ask the voters of Wisconsin a question: Should the current law allowing abortions up to 20 weeks be changed to 14 weeks?” Nedweski told reporters. 

If approved by the Senate and signed by Gov. Tony Evers, voters would be asked to approve the 14-week ban in a binding referendum, meaning it would become law, during the April 2024 elections.

But Evers has criticized and promised to veto the bill several times, including at his State of the State address and ahead of the vote.

“Wisconsinites should have the freedom to make their own decisions about their reproductive healthcare,” Evers wrote on social media on Thursday. “Republican legislators should have nothing to do with it.”

Rep. Chuck Wichgers (R-Muskego) proposed several amendments that would have replaced the 14-week abortion ban with other policies, including one that would designate an unborn child as a dependent for tax purposes and one that would prohibit public employees from engaging in activities related to abortion. He argued that since the bill had no support during the hearing, there should be an alternative. All his proposals were shot down.

Rep. Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) said during the floor session that the issue at hand was one of reproductive freedom and who gets to make decisions about one’s health care. 

“Politicians should not be making our reproductive health care choices for us…. These are decisions that are deeply personal. Every pregnancy is different, and these are individual personal decisions that should be made between a patient and [a] physician and others who we may choose to involve.” 

Subeck pointed out that an advisory referendum is something that she has supported before, but that the binding referendum, which lawmakers were discussing, would allow people to make a final decision about when someone would be able to get an abortion.

“If I’m in my physician’s office and I’m making my health care decisions, I don’t want my neighbors making those decisions for me. I don’t want people across the state making those decisions for me,” Subeck said. 

She added that it was clear that Republicans are trying to restrict access where they can, and they think people should not have access to abortion. 

Republican lawmakers dismissed the idea that abortion is health care.

“I struggled with this legislation here before us today, but I am supporting it because I believe, if enacted, it will help reduce the loss of life,” Rep. Bob Donovan (R-Greenfield) said. “I am pro-life and I am Catholic, and I believe that abortion is the taking of a human being.”

Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) said that the question about whether politicians should have a say in women’s health care was irrelevant. He argued that abortion is not health care, saying that a fetus is a human life. He used his experience working with animals to make his point. 

“In my veterinary career, I did thousands of ultrasounds on animals, you know, determining pregnancy and that kind of thing,” Kitchens said. “I think I know mammalian fetal development better than probably anyone here, and in my mind, there’s absolutely no question, that’s a life, and I think, the science backs me up on that.” 

Kitchens added that he recognizes that not everyone will agree with him and the bill would allow the public to “decide what our morality is.”

Exceptions for the life of the mother, rape and incest after the 14 weeks were added to the bill during a Tuesday executive session. Nedweski told reporters on Thursday that the decision was made to add the exceptions due to feedback from the public.

Nedweski said during the floor session, however, that while she supports exceptions, she also believes in personal responsibility and thinks abortion shouldn’t be readily available. 

“At the end of the day, unless you have been in a tragic situation outside of your control, if a woman doesn’t want to become pregnant, there are choices involved in that,” Nedweski said. “Abortion as readily available birth control relieves people of taking personal responsibilities for their actions and places the blame and the consequences on a baby.”

Reps. Scott Allen (R-Waukesha), Janel Brandtjen (R- Menomonee Falls), Jerry L. O’Connor (R-Fond Du Lac), Elijah Behnke (R-Oconto), Joy Goeben (Hobart), Rick Gundrum (R-Slinger), Gae Magnafici (R-Dresser), Dave Maxey (R-New Berlin), Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh) and Wichgers joined Democrats against the bill.

The bill will now go to the Senate. 

This story was originally published in the Wisconsin Examiner


AJ News
Get the latest news here first.

Tai News

Newsletter
Read More
Utah lawmakers want to repeal abortion clinic ban hoping it will speed up trigger law case

Utah lawmakers want to repeal abortion clinic ban hoping it will speed up trigger law case

By Katie McKellar, Utah News Dispatch - February 27, 2024
Abortion care and transgender health care are ‘parallel struggles’ in 2024 legislation

Abortion care and transgender health care are ‘parallel struggles’ in 2024 legislation

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - February 16, 2024
Texas conservatives test how far they can extend abortion and gender-transition restrictions beyond state lines

Texas conservatives test how far they can extend abortion and gender-transition restrictions beyond state lines

By Eleanor Klibanoff, Texas Tribune and William Melhado, Texas Tribune - February 09, 2024
Republicans block attempt to add rape, incest exemptions to Missouri’s abortion ban

Republicans block attempt to add rape, incest exemptions to Missouri’s abortion ban

By Anna Spoerre, Missouri Independent and Rudi Keller, Missouri Independent - February 08, 2024
Other states’ ballot successes provide model for Arkansas abortion initiative

Other states’ ballot successes provide model for Arkansas abortion initiative

By Antoinette Grajeda, Arkansas Advocate - February 02, 2024
After enacting strict abortion bans, Oklahoma GOP lawmakers seek more restrictions

After enacting strict abortion bans, Oklahoma GOP lawmakers seek more restrictions

By Carmen Forman, Oklahoma Voice - February 02, 2024
AJ News
Latest
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Utah lawmakers want to repeal abortion clinic ban hoping it will speed up trigger law case

Utah lawmakers want to repeal abortion clinic ban hoping it will speed up trigger law case

By Katie McKellar, Utah News Dispatch - February 27, 2024
Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

By Jesse Valentine - February 23, 2024
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

By Jesse Valentine - February 22, 2024
More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

By Megan Henry, Ohio Capital Journal - February 22, 2024
Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

By Kyle Dunphey, Utah News Dispatch - February 21, 2024