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Sen. Ron Johnson believes states should decide on abortion laws

"It's the people that need to decide. At what point will society decide to protect life? I'll accept their collective wisdom."
Posted at 6:22 PM, May 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-09 07:59:43-04

If the U.S Supreme Court overturns abortion rights, Senator Ron Johnson believes states should decide when life begins and if there should be abortion restrictions.

TMJ4's Chief Political Reporter Charles Benson asked Johnson if he was comfortable with Wisconsin's 19th century law that restricts most abortions - except to save the life of the mother, if Roe is overturned.

"I'm comfortable that now it's finally going to get put back into the Democratic realm where the American people and the people Wisconsin will decide how we deal with abortion," said Johnson who is seeking re-election this year.

A pending decision in front of the U.S. Supreme Court could overturn nearly 50 years of protecting a women's right to choose after a leaked draft suggested the law was about to change.

If that happens, Wisconsin lawmakers set abortion laws, creating the possibility of 50 states with 50 different abortion policies.

"I believe life begins at conception, but I also understand this as a profoundly moral issue," said Johnson. "People have wildly varying views and it's the body politics, it's the people that need to decide. At what point will society decide to protect life? I'll accept their collective wisdom."

Johnson says he'd rather have state lawmakers, not Supreme Court Justices and members of Congress, deciding when society protects an unborn child.

Benson asked Johnson, "Where do you think that point of life begins, and it could change from state to state?"

Sen. Johnson responded, "It will change from state to state. I mean, there'll be some that won't protect life for quite some time. There'll be others that are protected quite early."

Johnson believes efforts to codify Roe v Wade would fail in the U.S. Senate and he also made this prediction about Wisconsin's 1849 law that restricts abortions by punishing doctors who perform them.

"I don't think that will stand for long," said Johnson. "I think the democratic process in Wisconsin will have something other than the 1849 law."

TMJ4 talked with Sen. Tammy Baldwin Wednesday. She believes the Senate needs to step in to protect women's rights. She has a bill on the floor next week that will do just that if Roe is overturned.

"The one thing I must say is I believe it is true that our Supreme Court has never taken away a constitutional right," said Baldwin. "That is partly what is so shocking, aside from basically legislating from the bench when you have this 50-year precedent."

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