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Wisconsin Governor Vetoes a Slew of Anti-Abortion Bills

Steve Apps/Wisconsin State Journal via AP

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) vetoed five bills on Friday that would have restricted abortion access in the state and vowed to do the same for any future pro-life legislation.

"I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again today: as long as I’m governor, I will veto any legislation that turns back the clock on reproductive rights in this state—and that’s a promise," Evers said in a press release. "We cannot go backwards, and I will never stop working to make sure every Wisconsinite has access to quality, affordable healthcare, including reproductive healthcare in this state."

One of the bills, the Shield the Vulnerable Act, included a ban on abortions in the case that a patient wants to have the procedure because of the sex, race or disability diagnosis of the unborn baby. The legislation would also allow a spouse, family member or another individual to bring damages to court in the event that they were opposed to a woman having the abortion.

Evers said he vetoed it because "Wisconsinites have the right to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions," and due to "the intimidation of healthcare professionals by creating a path to legal damages for multiple parties."

The GOP-controlled state legislature, which expected Evers to nix the bill, expressed their disappointment with the governor's veto of the legislation.

"Killing an unborn baby because of their sex, race or disability is not health care," Wisconsin state Sen. Julian Bradley (R) wrote in a statement. "This is a radical, pro-discrimination veto from Governor Evers. Wisconsinites deserve to know life is valued whether they are a man or woman, white or black, or have a disability."

Another bill, which Evers also vetoed in 2019, would require doctors to care for a baby born alive following a failed abortion attempt and would impose criminal penalties on those who fail to do so. It would also make intentionally killing a baby born alive as a result of an abortion a felony punishable by life in prison.

Other pro-life bills would have required doctors to report certain information to patients about abortion pills during prenatal care.

Evers' vetoes come as the Supreme Court hears Mississippi's abortion ban, which prohibits the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy, in a case that could lead to Roe v. Wade being overturned.

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