Evers, Johnson, other top politicians speak out on Supreme Court abortion ruling

Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade revives abortion ban in Wisconsin

Abortion-rights protesters regroup and protest following Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade
Abortion-rights protesters regroup and protest following Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, federally protected right to abortion, in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022. The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years, a decision by its conservative majority to overturn the court’s landmark abortion cases. Gemunu Amarasinghe/AP Photo

In the wake of a Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, Wisconsin’s congressional delegation and contenders for the state’s top elected positions offered a wide range of reactions Friday.

The Supreme Court handed down its ruling Friday morning. In a 6 to 3 decision, the court decided a constitutional right to an abortion — which had been upheld for about a half century — no longer exists.

That ruling revives a 173-year-old abortion ban in Wisconsin, making the procedure illegal unless it’s deemed medically necessary to save the patient’s life.

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Here’s what the state’s congressional delegation and candidates for governor and Senate had to say:

Wisconsin U.S. Senators

In a press release, Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin said the decision took away the ability of women to make personal choices about their health and body.

“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,” Baldwin said. “I ask people to join this fight with their voices and their votes because we will not be taken back, we will move forward.”

Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, in a statement released on Twitter and Facebook, called the decision “a victory for life.”

“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,” Johnson said. “Hopefully, the debate will be conducted with sincerity, compassion, and respect for the broad range of views that people hold.”

Wisconsin U.S. Representatives

Republican U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil called the decision “a great victory for life” on Twitter.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan said on Twitter he was angry, but not surprised by the decision.

“The deeply personal decision to terminate a pregnancy should be made by individuals and their doctors, not politicians,” Pocan said in a statement.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Kind said in a statement the decision would have “devastating consequences for women and families across the nation.”

“We can’t go backwards,” Kind said.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore said in a video posted to Twitter that the decision was “very likely the end of people having personal freedom over their bodies.”

“Unenumerated rights are now all on the chopping block,” Moore said.

Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Fitzgerald said on Twitter that Roe v. Wade “was wrongly decided,” adding “(T)he court rightfully disposed of the egregious precedent it set.”

Republican U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman said in a statement the Court’s decision was “correct and much-needed.”

“(U)nborn children are human beings,” Grothman said. “We will see where the public and churches stand.”

Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany said the decision “paves the way for us to protect all life.”

Republican U.S. Rep Mike Gallagher said the ruling was historic.

“Today’s decision correctly returns this authority to legislatures and gives the American people a direct say in the way abortion is governed in their state,” Gallagher said.

Wisconsin Gubernatorial candidates

Gov. Tony Evers, in a video released on his campaign’s Twitter page, said he would do everything in his power to protect reproductive health care as long as he remains governor.

“It’s just the right thing to do,” Evers said.

Former Republican Lt. Gov Rebecca Kleefisch called the decision “a victory for unborn babies across America” in a statement.

“(T)he 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,” Kleefisch said. “We must look to a future where we value life and support moms and babies.”

Republican Kevin Nicholson said on Twitter the decision returned the matter of abortion “to the American people, where it should have always been.”

State Rep. Timothy Ramthun, R-Campbellsport, has not commented publicly on the ruling.

Wisconsin U.S. Senate candidates

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes said in a statement “this decision hits close to home.”

“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,” Barnes said. “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.”

Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry said in a statement Friday morning the news “is a direct assault on women’s rights.”

“(T)oday will be remembered as one of the darkest days in the history of the Court,” Lasry said. “Every woman deserves the right to control their own reproductive freedom — an essential element of a woman’s right to self-determination.”

Wisconsin State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski said in a statement “(i)t’s time to act, to mobilize, and to take back our rights and freedoms.”

On Twitter Godlewski called the SCOTUS decision an “all-hands-on-deck” moment.

Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson called Friday “a day of infamy for women” in a statement.

“(W)e need bold, immediate action in the U.S. Senate to protect women’s lives,” Nelson said. “Democrats must end the filibuster, codify a national right to a safe and legal abortion and expand the Supreme Court.”

Editor’s note: this story will be updated.