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Nearly One Million Wisconsin Voters Will Have an Opportunity to Vote on Abortion Rights this April
News provided byEIN Presswire
Jan 26, 2023, 2:05 PM ET
County Supervisors Approve Spring Advisory Ballot Questions in Milwaukee, Dane and Eau Claire CountiesMADISON, WISCONSIN, USA, January 26, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Eau Claire, Dane and Milwaukee Counties have added advisory referenda questions addressing abortion rights to their Tuesday, April 4th spring election ballot. As a result, almost one million Wisconsin registered voters living in those counties will be able to directly express their opinion on reproductive rights.
Importantly, Wisconsin voters will simultaneously be casting their ballots for a new state supreme court justice—a justice whose decisions will directly impact the legal status of women’s reproductive rights. These advisory questions could spur new voters to vote in the April 4th election.
Andrew Hysell of Forever Wisconsin--a nonprofit dedicated to protecting individual rights and liberties--said that these ballot questions were timely. “For the first time, the United States Supreme Court has chosen to roll back civil rights,” said Hysell. “Unsurprisingly, this was jarring to a lot of people and voters in Wisconsin want their legislators to take action.”
In June of 2022, the United States Supreme Court overturned fifty years of precedent and ruled that the right of a woman to choose an abortion was not consitutionally protected. After the Court’s ruling, a 19th Century Wisconsin law banning abortion went into effect. Since the decision, no abortions have been performed in Wisconsin. A Siena poll conducted in September of 2022 showed that nearly three quarters of Wisconites want to see Wisconsin's abortion ban changed.
Milwaukee County Question
The Milwaukee County referendum question reads "Should Wisconsin Statute 940.04, which bans abortion at any stage of pregnancy without exception for rape, incest, or health of the patient, be repealed to allow legal access to abortion care?"
State Representative and County Supervisor Ryan Clancy led the effort in Milwaukee County to place the question on the ballot in December of last year. “I’m proud to have authored a resolution to allow Milwaukee County residents to weigh in on abortion rights. But it is frustrating that we had too." Clancy continued, “Because of unconstitutional Wisconsin gerrymandering, the legislature refuses to give people a voice. So, as locally elected officials, it falls to us to give our constituents a chance to be heard.”
Dane County Question
On January 19th, Dane County supervisors voted 34 to 2 to put an advisory question on the ballot that reads "Should the Wisconsin Legislature adopt an amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution creating a new right to privacy that would protect rights such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and interracial marriage?”
“Based on last summer’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision, the right to an abortion has been eliminated in Wisconsin,” said Supervisor Maureen McCarville, the sponsor of the question. “If that wasn’t bad enough, the theory used in Dobbs could roll back civil rights that would put marriage equality and contraception also at risk,” added McCarville. “We cannot afford to wait for the United States Supreme Court to roll back even more rights—we need to act now.”
Article 13, Section 13 of the Wisconsin Constitution prohibits gay marriage and would go into effect if the Supreme Court again overturned precedent. According to recent polling, 70% of Wisconsinites believe that same sex couples should have the right to marry. Over 200,000 people in the state are part of the LGBTQ community and 29% are currently raising children. The Wisconsin ban would instantly remove legal recognition of those unions, putting both couples and their children at risk.
Eau Claire Question
On January 17th, the Eau Claire Board of Supervisors voted by a margin of nearly two-to-one to put the following question on the April 4th ballot, “Should the Wisconsin Legislature repeal the state’s 1849 abortion ban law?”
The question’s author, Supervisor Judy Gaitlin, said, “This issue is significant to our local community of college students. Putting the question on the spring ballot could motivate students to vote in this important election and be part of the democratic process. She concluded “People in Wisconsin understand how the consequences of this law can seep into all of our daily lives, threatening our basic civil rights.”