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'This is not over yet': Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers vows to grant clemency for doctors after Roe v. Wade ruling

Posted at 5:50 PM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-27 22:21:52-04

MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers says he plans to meet with Attorney General Josh Kaul in the coming days to discuss plans to fight the state's abortion ban.

“This is not over yet,” Gov. Evers said at an event in Milwaukee Monday morning.

Gov. Evers shared his disgust over the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Friday to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

“It is a horrible change for the women in the state of Wisconsin,” Evers said. “Half the people who live here are now second-class citizens. That is a problem.”

The abortion ban Wisconsin enacted in 1849 is now in effect. It outlaws abortion, except to save the life of a mother.

If a doctor provides an abortion under any other circumstances, they could be charged with a felony and face prison time.

“If any physician is arrested and tried, and about to enter jail for one to six years for doing the same thing they have done for the past 50 years, that's wrong,” Evers said. “Clemency will be on the table there.”

Evers is vowing to grant clemency - or pardons - to any doctors charged under the state abortion law.

“It's just ridiculous to think that we must go back to 1849,” Evers said. “It's just a bad decision, and we're going to do everything we can to change it.

Evers admits, though, that he and state democrats are still determining the specifics of what steps to take next.

Some district attorneys throughout Wisconsin - including in Dane and Milwaukee counties - have said they will not prosecute doctors who provide abortion care. Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul has made the same promise.

But that does not mean Planned Parenthood and other women's health care providers are safe to resume abortion services.

“I think it is still a danger for them as an organization,” Ever said. “Our neighboring states of Minnesota and Illinois are taking patients from Wisconsin. But still, this will hurt the most vulnerable women in our state. Not everyone has the means to travel for a medical procedure.”

Legal battles over this are a guarantee in Wisconsin.

Kaul and Evers are up for reelection this fall and face tough races, which could change how strictly Wisconsin’s abortion ban is enforced.

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