Evers speaks on offering clemency to doctors charged under 1849 abortion law

Gov. Tony Evers, June 25 2022
Gov. Tony Evers, June 25 2022
Published: Jun. 25, 2022 at 6:16 PM CDT
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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WBAY) - Lining the steps inside the La Crosse Center, delegates at the Democratic State Convention rallied Saturday afternoon in support of abortion rights.

Governor Tony Evers spoke afterward, reacting to the Supreme Court ruling on a personal note.

“I have seven grandkids that or girls are young women. Yesterday they were made second-class citizens,” Evers said.

On top of that, the governor said any physician charged or convicted under the 1849 law would receive clemency.

“1849 law says that anybody that provides an abortion is subjected to a felony, one to six years. Did you ever think about the word clemency? I will provide clemency to any physician that is charged under the law,” Evers explained.

Others at the rally included Senator Tammy Baldwin. She applauded the governor’s effort to be a roadblock, when it comes to abortion clinics closing.

“A law passed in 1849 one year after statehood. We are not going back to the middle of the nineteenth century,” Baldwin commented.

Attorney General Josh Kaul also addressed the enforcement of the 1849 abortion ban.

“As Attorney General, my top priority is public safety, so let me be very clear about this. It does not serve the health or the safety of Wisconsinites to enforce a nineteenth-century abortion ban and we are not going to do it at the Wisconsin Department of Justice,” Kaul announced.

Action 2 News asked about the precedent that might set.

“If there are clinics that open up, I’ve been clear about where I stand but DA’s and sheriffs and police chiefs also have a roll in that and how they exercise their authority is up to them,” Kaul said.

Some Republicans responded by accusing the governor of pandering to his base.

“The governor once again is showing that he is, first of all, he says he’s reaching out across the aisle to help everybody and work together. With this decision, he’s telling us again that he is for his activist base and it’s going against the will of the people,” Chair of the Republican Party Paul Farrow said.

There is also a hotly contested United States Senate race. Four Democrats vying for a chance to unseat Ron Johnson speak to delegates Sunday morning.

Pro-choice rallies are popping up across the nation following Friday's Supreme Court ruling.

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