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Wisconsin leaders, groups react to Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

Wisconsin State Capitol
Posted at 9:50 AM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 17:41:50-04

Editor's note: TMJ4 News will continue to add statements to this article as we receive them.

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Friday their decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The decision came in a case about Mississippi’s abortion law, which sought to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

With Friday’s decision, states can now make their own laws regarding abortions.

Wisconsin's abortion law, established in 1849, criminalizes most abortions unless the doctors determine the mother's life is at risk.

Following the announcement, Wisconsin leaders shared statements both for and against the decision.

Gov. Tony Evers:

"Gov. Tony Evers today released the following statement in response to a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey and ruling the U.S. Constitution confers no right to an abortion. The decision upends a constitutional right to abortion that Wisconsinites and Americans have relied upon for nearly 50 years. The decision today comes as on Wednesday this week, the Wisconsin State Legislature rejected [] Gov. Evers’ effort to repeal Wisconsin’s pre-Roe criminal abortion ban.

“This is an unfathomably grim day for our state and our country. I am heartbroken—for the millions of Wisconsinites and Americans the U.S. Supreme Court has abandoned and for our country and our democratic institutions. This is an absolutely disastrous and unconscionable decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, the consequences of which I hoped to never see again in my lifetime. I know many across our state and nation are scared—worried about their own health and about the health and safety of their family members, friends, and neighbors, who could very soon see the ability to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions stripped from them. My heart breaks for them, I grieve for them, and I pray for their strength and courage in the days ahead.

“Our work to do the right thing for the people of this state must continue. We will fight this decision in every way we can with every power we have. As people in Wisconsin and across our country make their voices heard in the days and months ahead, we will do so peacefully and without violence. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again today: I will never stop fighting to make sure that every single Wisconsinite has the right to consult their family, their faith, and their doctor to make the reproductive healthcare decision that is right for them, and without interference from politicians or members of the Supreme Court who don’t know anything about their life circumstances, values, or responsibilities.”

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin / Tanya Atkinson, President and CEO PPWI:

“The Supreme Court has taken away our constitutional right to abortion. This ruling takes away the freedom to control our bodies and personal health care decisions, giving it to politicians to decide.

Because Wisconsin’s criminal abortion law remains in place, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin has temporarily suspended abortion services until we receive clarification from a court about whether the law is enforceable. Know that we are exploring all legal options.

This news is devastating. Deciding if or when to become a parent is one of the most personal, life-changing decisions people make. You deserve the right to control your own body, life, and future. And access the health care that you need.

Although abortion services are not available in Wisconsin for now, Planned Parenthood’s doors across the state are open and we are here to help patients get the care they need. This includes helping patients access safe abortion care where it remains legal, offering travel assistance, and providing appropriate follow-up care when they return home.

Your health — and the health of the community — is our number one priority.

Planned Parenthood stands for care. And we won't give up. Not now. Not ever.”

For more information about how to access abortion, patient navigation support and financial resources go to"

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin also released a video statement:

Pro-Life Wisconsin released the following statement, "We thank God for the wisdom and courage of these five justices: Justice Samuel Alito, Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Neil Gorsuch, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Justice Amy Coney Barret, and Justice John Roberts who have so boldly decided this case, even in the face of great opposition and personal attack. We will continue to advance onward, with all momentum and without compromise, to establish legal protection for every preborn child in Wisconsin."

Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes issued a statement saying, “Like it does for so many Americans, this decision hits close to home for me. I might not be here today if Roe v. Wade hadn’t allowed my mother to make the best decision for her health and safety. This decision will punish women and cost people their lives. The American people deserve elected leaders who will go to the mat to protect our basic freedoms and that’s what I intend to do. It’s past time to abolish the filibuster and make Roe the law of the land.”

Senator Tammy Baldwin said, "An activist majority of the Supreme Court has overturned Roe and nearly 50 years of precedent, taking away the constitutional rights of American women to make their own personal choices about their body, their health, and their family. Republicans have taken Wisconsin women back to 1849 and it is Republicans who want to keep us there with support for having politicians interfere in the freedoms of women who will now have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers have had for decades. I ask people to join this fight with their voices and their votes because we will not be taken back, we will move forward.”

Attorney General Josh Kaul said, "I vehemently disagree with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs. The Supreme Court’s decision to overrule Roe v. Wade has rolled back the clock almost half a century on abortion rights. In many states around the country, its effect will be to endanger women’s health and to shift control over incredibly important decisions about whether to have a child from women to politicians."

Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson issued the following statement on Twitter, "When long-held rights are taken away, we should be alarmed. Women should have the right to control their own bodies. I am a husband and a father of two daughters, and I am sensitive to what this ruling means for them. Today’s Supreme Court decision is a disappointment."

Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley:

"I am beyond disappointed in the SCOTUS decision to reverse nearly 50 years of precedent and restrict millions of Americans from the ability to make their own reproductive health decisions. Every single person should have the right to consult their family, their faith, and their doctor to make a reproductive health care decision that is right for them. It is incredibly concerning that women of color, who already see some of the worst outcomes in our health care system, will undoubtedly be the most impacted by resorting to unregulated and unsafe medical procedures.

“Milwaukee County is on a mission to achieve race and health equity, but that can only be achieved when government works to help people get the health care they need, when they need it. This decision is simply a betrayal and a contradiction to that vision and mission. But I am certain this is not the end. I will never stop fighting to defend a women’s right to choose and make their own reproductive health care decisions.”

Milwaukee Common Council:

"Today’s news that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe V. Wade and taken away reproductive freedom for women across the country is heartbreaking and infuriating. This decision now means that women everywhere have less freedom today than they did yesterday.

While we have known for weeks that this was a possibility, it does not make the reality of the decision any less difficult to comprehend.

Women should have the fundamental right to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions, and the fact of the matter is this decision will negatively impact women everywhere, particularly those in communities of color and low-income communities.

We should take time to be angry, sad, confused, and hurt by today’s news, but we must also understand that while today is a devastating blow for the civil rights and human rights of women everywhere, we must keep pushing forward and fighting for what is right and become more active and engaged than we ever have before. Our daughters, granddaughters and future generations of women deserve nothing less."

Speaker Robin Vos said "Safeguarding the lives of unborn children shouldn't be controversial. Today's decision reaffirms their lives are precious and worthy of protection. I urge those who disagree to remain peaceful."

Senator Ron Johnson said, "Today is a victory for life and for those who have fought for decades to protect the unborn. For almost fifty years the decision of nine unelected Justices have prevented a democratically derived consensus on the profound moral issue of abortion to be formed. This decision will now allow that democratic process to unfold in each state to determine at what point does society have the responsibility to protect life. Hopefully, the debate will be conducted with sincerity, compassion, and respect for the broad range of views that people hold.”

Chief Health Policy Advisor for Milwaukee County, Ben Weston, tweeted saying, "While the arc of the moral universe may bend toward justice, it is far from smooth— and it just took a major detour. Be angry, sad, furious… but also engaged and active."

Senator Lena Taylor said, "Guns yesterday, abortion today. We have a litany of remaining freedoms, rights, and decisions that are in jeopardy under the control of an activist conservative Supreme Court. A court make-up by the way, that was pulled together through Mitch McConnell’s unethical behavior and stolen appointments.”

Representative Gwen Moore said, "This is a terrifying day because the Supreme Court has turned its back on precedent to roll back individual rights and liberties. Today’s ruling is not only the end of the federal right for women to have control over their bodies, but also demonstrates the Court is very likely to take away other personal liberties from Americans. This decision has made the lives of women and girls more tenuous, dangerous, and restricted."

Representative Scott Fitzgerald said, "The decision is a major victory for the pro-life movement and the unborn. Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, and the court rightfully disposed of the egregious precedent it set."

Representative Glenn Grothman:

"The Supreme Court made the correct and much-needed decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. “Legality of abortions is now turned back to the states. It is important for America to remember, when ultrasounds were practically unheardof, 47 states had made abortion illegal. Now, with accurate ultrasounds, it is clear to all Americans that unborn children are human beings. We will see where the public and churches stand.

“Over the years, millions of children have had their dreams stolen before seeing the light of the day. But today marks a brighter future for the hearts and minds of unborn children, women, and families.

“I commend the six Justices who voted to overturn Roe for having the courage to base their decision on sound legal principles rather than a fashionable line of thinking that rules academia, Hollywood, and the mainstream media.”

Representative Bryan Steil said, "I’m proudly pro-life. Today’s decision will bring this important issue back to the states. This is a great victory for life.”

Senator Melissa Agard said, "This is a horrible day for our country. For decades, Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey have protected the reproductive freedom for millions of Americans and Wisconsinites. Now, in our dystopic reality, our children will have fewer freedom than their parents. Every person must have the right to make reproductive healthcare decisions that are best for them."

Republican Candidate for Governor Rebecca Kleefisch said, "Today’s decision is a victory for unborn babies across America. Countless lives will be saved because of the wisdom of the current Supreme Court. Abortion harms both moms and babies. After this win, the pro-life community can focus all of our efforts to supporting moms, dads, and their babies to promote a culture of life and success for families.

Republican Candidate for Governor Tim Michels said, "It is important that we continue to compassionately work on winning hearts and minds. We need to build a world that is safer for all, a world where better education is provided, and an economy that allows for all to prosper. Life must always be protected. We should not demonize those who don’t believe that, but rather redouble our efforts to show how they can provide a high quality of life for their children.”

Democratic Candidate for Senator Alex Lasry said, "Today will be remembered as one of the darkest days in the history of SCOTUS—women will die as a result of this destructive decision by these Trumpian justices."

Democratic Candidate for Senator Tom Nelson said, "I know that so many folks in our community are grieving, outraged, and shaken. I want you to know that I will NEVER stop fighting to protect the right to choose for women across our state, and our country."

Democratic Candidate for Senator and State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski said, “Today, millions of women and families in Wisconsin and across America are waking up to this devastating news: we no longer have the right to make our own health care decisions. It’s time to act, to mobilize, and to take back our rights and freedoms."

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki said, "As a Church that advances the Culture of Life and as members of a civil society, we welcome the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in the Dobbs case. While no doubt we all feel a renewed hope for the future, let us also remember that our struggle to preserve the sanctity of human life is only just beginning. Abortion laws now return to the individual states. Our challenge is to continue to promote that human life begins at conception and needs to be protected at all times.

Democratic Party of Wisconsin:

“Today, the Supreme Court, aided and abetted by anti-abortion extremists in Congress, has failed our country and state by taking away Americans’ right to make their own medical decisions. Overturning Roe v. Wade directly contradicts the will of the public, advice of countless medical professionals, and decades of settled precedent and jurisprudence. As a result of this decision, Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion ban is now enforceable, and doctors in our state can be put in jail for doing their jobs."

“Today’s decision underscores the importance of electing leaders at every level of government who will protect every person’s basic human right to make their own medical decisions. Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul have been brick walls against Republicans’ war on reproductive health at the state level. Senator Tammy Baldwin and Representatives Gwen Moore, Ron Kind, and Mark Pocan have been fierce defenders and advocates for legislation that would codify abortion protections into federal law."

“Now more than ever, abortion is on the ballot this November. All four Republicans running for governor have advocated for abortion bans that go beyond even the 1849 law and have vowed to pursue even more extreme restrictions on reproductive health care. Ron Johnson, who previously called the repeal of Roe v. Wade ‘the correct decision,’ has carelessly told Wisconsinites that if they don’t like the abortion laws in their state they simply ‘can move."

“The stakes of the 2022 elections couldn’t be higher: we’re fighting for the ability of each person to make their own decisions about their body, life, and future.”

Republican Party of Wisconsin:

“Today’s Supreme Court decision represents a historic victory in the fight to protect the unborn, an affirmation of our Constitution, and the return of policymaking back to the people and our elected representatives, as our Founders intended.“Republicans have always believed in the sanctity of life – that it is precious and worth defending. As we continue to push for recognition of the value of human life, Republicans will continue to speak up for unborn children and vulnerable mothers and families. We welcome all Wisconsinites who believe in the sanctity of life to join us.”

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