Wisconsin gov won’t back abortion exceptions if ban remains

Oct 11, 2022, 11:47 AM | Updated: 3:25 pm
FILE - Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers speaks during an event attended by President Joe Biden at Henry Ma...

FILE - Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers speaks during an event attended by President Joe Biden at Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee on Sept. 5, 2022. Evers said Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022, that he wouldn't sign a bill that keeps in place the state's 1849 ban on abortion but creates new exceptions for rape and incest. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said Tuesday that he wouldn’t sign a bill creating exceptions for rape and incest if it would keep in place the state’s 1849 abortion ban.

Evers faces Republican Tim Michels, who supported the 1849 ban before changing positions after he won the Republican primary and now says he would sign a bill granting exceptions.

“I wouldn’t sign it because that leaves the underlying law in place which is a ban on abortion,” Evers said in response to a question at a Rotary Club of Milwaukee event co-sponsored by the Milwaukee Press Club and Wispolitics.com.

The Wisconsin Legislature is controlled by Republicans, some of whom have voiced support for granting rape and incest exceptions to the state law that came into play after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. That ruling left it up to states to determine whether abortion should be legal.

In line with Democrats across the country, Evers has tried to make abortion a central issue in the race that polls show is about even. Polls have also shown a wide majority of Wisconsin voters support keeping abortion legal and at the very least having rape and incest exceptions.

Evers has twice called special sessions of the Legislature seeking to repeal the 1849 ban and create a way to put the question before voters. Republicans rejected both proposals. Evers said Tuesday the Wisconsin Legislature should codify Roe v. Wade.

Evers also supports a lawsuit filed by Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul seeking to overturn the state ban, which passed before women had the right to vote and before the Civil War.

Evers, in his comments before taking questions, repeatedly branded Michels as too “radical” and “dangerous” for the state. He singled out his long-held support of the total abortion ban, a position that Michels changed last month.

“Obviously he supports that and he won’t even support exceptions for rape and incest,” Evers said of a total abortion ban. “To me that’s radical.”

Michels’ spokesperson Anna Kelly did not directly address Evers’ comments on abortion, instead saying he “wants to talk about anything other than his record of failure.”

Evers also cited Michels’ opposition to so-called red flag laws that would allow judges to take guns and other weapons away from people deemed to be a danger, as well as his comments questioning the integrity of the 2020 election. Michels, unlike other Republicans, has not called for President Joe Biden’s victory to be decertified. But Michels, who is endorsed by former President Donald Trump, has said that “maybe” the 2020 election was stolen and he has not unconditionally said if he will accept results of the Nov. 8 election.

Biden’s victory in Wisconsin has withstood multiple reviews, recounts and lawsuits.

Evers, who has vetoed more bills than any other governor in modern Wisconsin history, also touted his roll as a block on the GOP-controlled Legislature. Evers also highlighted his promise to increase funding for local governments, a move that would require approval by the Legislature.

Evers also defended his response to violent protests in Kenosha in 2020 that erupted after a white police officer shot Jacob Blake, a Black man. Michels has been hammering Evers on his response to the violence, saying that he didn’t act quickly enough to quell the violence.

“I did everything I was asked to do and I would do it again if I needed to do it,” Evers said, nothing that he called up the Wisconsin National Guard when it was requested.

Michels’ spokesperson Kelly faulted Evers for referring to the protests as “civil disruptions,” accusing him of minimizing what happened.

Michels has also blamed Evers for paroles of convicted murderers and others granted by the state parole commission. When asked about paroles, Evers deflected criticism by noting that any decision to grant parole is not up to the governor but the commission which operates independently of him. Michels has called on Evers to stop all paroles and pardons.

Michels has been invited to attend a similar event to take questions ahead of the election, but has not responded, said past Milwaukee Press Club President Corri Hess. Kelly did not respond to questions about whether Michels would attend a future event.

Evers and Michels are scheduled to meet for their first and only debate before the election on Friday.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - Infowars founder Alex Jones appears in court to testify during the Sandy Hook defamation dam...
Associated Press

Infowars host Alex Jones files for personal bankruptcy

Infowars host Alex Jones filed for personal bankruptcy protection Friday in Texas, citing debts that include nearly $1.5 billion he has been ordered to pay to families who sued him over his conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook school massacre. Jones filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Houston. His filing listed $1 billion to […]
10 hours ago
Associated Press

Hess to buy $750 million in carbon credits from Guyana

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) — U.S.-owned Hess Corporation, a consortium partner in Guyana’s offshore oil sector, has agreed to buy $750 million worth of carbon credits from the South American nation in the next decade as it works to ensure Guyana’s almost intact Amazonian rainforests remain standing for decades to come, officials said Saturday. Guyanese government […]
10 hours ago
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee answers a question while taking part in a panel discussion during a Republi...
Associated Press

Tennessee roads plan mulls toll lanes, electric car fee hike

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is considering allowing express toll lanes on highways and tripling a fee for electric car owners as he targets his first big push after winning reelection — paying for tens of billions of dollars in roadway projects. The Republican is adamant about what he won’t do: Raise […]
10 hours ago
Associated Press

UK arrests wealthy Russian as police target Putin enablers

LONDON (AP) — British authorities have arrested a wealthy Russian businessman on suspicion of money laundering, amid efforts to disrupt potential criminal activity by oligarchs and others linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The National Crime Agency said more than 50 officers from a specialized unit raided the suspect’s multi-million-pound home in London on Thursday, […]
10 hours ago
Voters wait in line to make corrections to their ballots for the midterm elections at City Hall in ...
Associated Press

Non-religious voters wield clout, tilt heavily Democratic

When members of the small Pennsylvania chapter of Secular Democrats of America log on for their monthly meetings, they’re not there for a virtual happy hour. “We don’t sit around at our meetings patting ourselves on the back for not believing in God together,” said David Brown, a founder from the Philadelphia suburb of Ardmore. […]
10 hours ago
FILE - Nick Fuentes, right-wing podcaster, speaks at a pro-Trump march, Nov. 14, 2020, in Washingto...
Associated Press

Antisemitic celebrities stoke fears of normalizing hate

A surge of anti-Jewish vitriol, spread by a world-famous rapper, an NBA star and other prominent people, is stoking fears that public figures are normalizing hate and ramping up the risk of violence in a country already experiencing a sharp increase in antisemitism. Leaders of the Jewish community in the U.S. and extremism experts have […]
10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Wisconsin gov won’t back abortion exceptions if ban remains