MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Tony Evers led a coalition of 17 governors Tuesday, calling for the U.S. Congress to take immediate action to protect reproductive rights and access to abortion.
According to the Office of Gov. Evers, the governors called for Congress to work quickly to pass legislation to codify the rights and protections prescribed in Roe v. Wade in a joint letter to congressional leaders.
The letter comes after a draft opinion circulated among Supreme Court justices suggests that earlier this year a majority of them had thrown support behind overturning the 1973 case Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide.
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"While the Supreme Court has not issued a final decision and abortion remains legal in the United States, a Supreme Court decision in Dobbs that reflects the draft opinion revealed yesterday could have severe consequences for all Wisconsinites—including Wisconsin women and their families," the Office of Gov. Evers said in a statement Tuesday. "Wisconsin remains one of several states with existing criminal statutes enacted pre-Roe that prohibit nearly all abortion, which could go back into effect if Roe is overturned."
Gov. Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul are also calling on Wisconsin State Legislature to repeal the state's existing criminal abortion ban.
“Reproductive healthcare decisions are deeply personal and should be made by patients in consultation with their healthcare providers, not by politicians,” the governors wrote to congressional leaders. “Despite the widespread support for reproductive freedom, in many states across the nation, a U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs that reflects the draft opinion would immediately limit access to reproductive healthcare and, in some states, could even criminalize abortion, ending constitutional rights that have been recognized for nearly 50 years."
In the letter, the governors called for the immediate passage of the Women's Health Protection Act, which would protect access to abortion nationwide and codify protections under Roe. The Women's Health Protection Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives last September, but is yet to pass the U.S. Senate.
You can read the full letter by clicking here.