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Why Wisconsin Right to Life does not support Assembly Bill 975

by | Jan 30, 2024

At first blush, you might ask why Wisconsin Right to Life does not support Assembly Bill 975, a bill that would bring a referendum to the April 2024 ballot to prohibit abortion after 14 weeks postfertilization age.

This effort seems like an avenue to save as many lives as we can at this moment. We are, after all, an organization dedicated to using the best strategies possible to save preborn lives.

The answer to why we oppose AB 975 is that it is bad strategy, has no chance of being signed into law, and is an inherent misunderstanding of how the conversation around abortion will actually change.

Many of the elected officials who brought this legislation forward erroneously believe this effort will put an end to the discussion of abortion and will stop Democrats from using the abortion issue as a tool against Republicans.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. We have seen time and time again that any effort to restrict abortion will be used by Democrats to crucify Republicans in the State Legislature for wanting to “take away rights” from women.

Some Wisconsin Republicans claim this effort will “let the people decide,” but Governor Evers has promised to veto it. This means this referendum will never be on the April 2024 ballot. It will not reach the people.

At this moment in our culture, we know that the public does not perfectly align with either party’s stance on abortion – as either totally legal, or totally illegal. After more than 50 years of Roe vs. Wade, it’s no wonder.

The reality is that the abortion issue cannot be resolved in one legislative cycle and by passing one piece of legislation. AB 975 is playing the short game and is playing that game badly.

This is why Wisconsin Right to Life opposes AB 975, because to truly take the abortion issue off the table in the political world, we need to change our culture for life.

For too long, many Republicans have struggled to articulate their pro-life position in a clear and compassionate way. This has allowed their opponents to define this issue, feeding into the negative narrative the media already has of the pro-life position.

We cannot rely on elected officials to carry the pro-life cause – instead, we need to be the agents of cultural change.

We urge the Wisconsin state legislators who wish to advance the pro-life cause during this current legislative session to pass effective legislation such as AB 114, which extends postpartum care to a year after birth, AB 343, which
increases the tax exemption for dependents and including preborn children, AB 344, which funds pregnancy resource centers, and AB 336, which creates grants to support adoption.

In the meantime, Wisconsin Right to Life will focus on our most important work.

We will walk with mothers facing an unexpected or difficult pregnancy and provide resources for both before and after birth. We will connect mothers to local pregnancy centers and offer hope that they can pursue their dreams while welcoming a child. We will ramp up our efforts to talk directly to Wisconsinites and share the truth about abortion with compassion. In the end, these will be the efforts that “settle” the abortion issue, because these efforts will empower every woman in Wisconsin to bring a child into this world without fear.

Wisconsin Right to Life will remain unwavering in our work to change the culture and save lives.

Categories: State Legislation