The Democratic governor of Wisconsin is firmly protecting abortion rights in the state by striking down a series of pro-life bills passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature. Gov. Tony Evers also promised to obstruct any anti-abortion bills in the future after he dismissed five bills that aim to curb abortion in Wisconsin, underscoring his commitment to upholding women's reproductive rights.
"Republicans around the country are attempting to create laws restricting a woman's right to choose and cutting access to women's healthcare. I just vetoed those bills here in Wisconsin," Gov. Evers said in a video published on social media, as reported by Fox News.
During his reelection campaign, the Democrat made abortion issues a major talking point, even promising to veto and overrule any pro-life bills that made it to his desk for his signature.
"I've said it before, and I'll say it again today: as long as I'm governor, I will veto any legislation that turns back the clock on reproductive rights in this state - and that's a promise," Gov. Evers took to Twitter to share about his decision to block the pro-life bills. While the Democratic governor's reaction came as no surprise to Republican leaders in the state, this did not stop them from condemning Gov. Evers' decision. Wisconsin state Sen. Julian Bradley, a Republican, called it a "radical, pro-discrimination veto."
According to the Christian Headlines, one of the bills that Gov. Evers vetoed was Senate Bill 16, which would order doctors who are present when a baby survives an abortion to "exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child" as they would to any other baby of the same gestational age. S.B. 16 also required that the child by "immediately transported and admitted to a hospital" and that mothers "may not be prosecuted" if violations occur.
Gov. Evers also vetoed Senate Bill 593, a measure that prohibits abortions based on a a sex or disability diagnosis, such as Down syndrome. The legislation prohibits doctors from performing an abortion of he or she "knows that the woman is seeking the abortion solely because" of disability, race, national origin or sex. The Wisconsin governor also vetoed three more bills.
Among these were a bill that would have prohibited funding from state insurance program BadgerCare from going to abortion providers. Another was a bill that would require physicians to tell women seeking a chemical abortion or the abortion pill that the procedure may possibly be reversed. Finally, Gov. Evers vetoed a bill that would require doctors treating mothers "whose fetus tests positive for a congenital condition to provide educational resources on that condition."
However, Gov. Evers found an adversary in Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, a Republican, who promised, "Despite our governor's radical ideologies, I will never stop fighting against this injustice to protect those who cannot protect themselves."