AP

Abortion ban changes split Wisconsin GOP under veto threat

Dec 23, 2022, 6:02 AM | Updated: 6:06 am

FILE - Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos talks to the media after Gov. Tony Evers addresses a jo...

FILE - Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos talks to the media after Gov. Tony Evers addresses a joint session of the state Legislature in the Assembly chambers during his State of the State speech at the state Capitol, Feb. 15, 2022, in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin Republicans who control the legislature are divided over whether to push for rape and incest abortion exceptions in the face of Evers' pledge to veto any bill that keeps the state's 173-year-old ban in place. (AP Photo/Andy Manis, File)

(AP Photo/Andy Manis, File)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Republicans who control the Legislature are divided over whether to push for rape and incest abortion exceptions in the face of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ pledge to veto any bill that keeps the state’s 173-year-old ban in place.

Evers and Democrats are suing to overturn the 1849 law, which went into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade ruling that made abortions legal. The state law is a near-total abortion ban, with no exceptions for rape or incest and unclear language about protections for the health of the mother.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told The Associated Press on Thursday that he will push for passage of a bill granting clear exceptions to protect the life and health of the mother and in cases of rape and incest.

“I’m going to work hard to make it happen,” Vos said. “I think it’s the right public policy and I think it’s where the public is.”

His position puts Vos at odds not only with Evers, but also with fellow Republican Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu. He told the AP that he doesn’t intend to bring forward any bill in the Senate granting abortion exceptions because he knows it will be vetoed by Evers.

“I’m not sure why I would make my caucus go through such a difficult vote if the governor is going to veto it,” he said, adding that it was a “very personal issue” for many Senate Republicans based on their religious beliefs.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Melissa Agard said if Senate Republicans are struggling with the issue, “maybe they should reflect a little bit deeper and restore reproductive freedoms for people.”

Both the Senate and Assembly must approve an identical bill before it heads to the governor, who can either sign it into law or veto it. Evers vetoed bills last session that attempted to make abortions more difficult, part of a record-high number of vetoes he issued during his first term.

Vos said that while he opposes abortion, he is willing to compromise to allow for exceptions that would also clarify the 1849 law.

“Let’s see if there’s some middle ground where we can find consensus,” Vos said. “I don’t know why (Evers) wouldn’t do that other than politics.”

Evers reiterated to the AP on Tuesday that he would veto any bill that keeps the 1849 ban in place, even if it would mean that victims of rape and incest could not get abortions in Wisconsin. Clinics that had provided abortions prior to Roe v. Wade being overturned stopped scheduling abortions while the lawsuit challenging the ban plays out.

“I’d love to go back to where we were with Roe v. Wade,” Evers said. “That’s always been my position. And so the idea that I’d agree to essentially an 1849 law, that is a nonstarter.”

Republicans have twice rejected attempts by Evers to overturn the ban.

Absent the unlikely scenario of the Legislature approving a law change that Evers signs, the fate of Wisconsin’s abortion ban will likely rest with the state Supreme Court. An April election will determine whether conservatives maintain their 4-3 majority. If liberals win the seat, they would have a 4-3 majority starting in August.

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

AP

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

13 hours ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

8 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

8 days ago

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, and Kenya's Defense Minister Aden Duale, left, listen during...

Associated Press

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hospitalized with bladder issue

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized following symptoms pointing to an “emergent bladder issue."

10 days ago

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church, stands with his wife, Victoria Osteen, as he conducts a...

Associated Press

Woman firing rifle killed by 2 off-duty officers at Houston’s Lakewood Church run by Joel Osteen

A woman entered the Texas megachurch of Joel Osteen and started shooting with a rifle Sunday and was killed by two off-duty officers.

11 days ago

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church, stands with his wife, Victoria Osteen, as he conducts a...

Sponsored Content by

A woman entered the Texas megachurch of Joel Osteen and started shooting with a rifle Sunday and was killed by two off-duty officers.

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Abortion ban changes split Wisconsin GOP under veto threat