Gage-Michaels, Thelen, Gasch, VanDeurzen, Beauchamp-Pope, Benson, and Shelton campaigns: Northeast Wisconsin Democratic candidates speak out for reproductive freedom

Green Bay, Wis. – Wednesday’s special session called by Governor Evers was an opportunity for state lawmakers to overturn Wisconsin’s 173-year-old draconian abortion ban in advance of today’s US Supreme Court decision ending Roe v Wade. Despite an overwhelming crowd of reproductive rights supporters gathered in a sea of pink at the state Capitol, Republican majority leaders in the Legislature immediately adjourned the special session without discussion nor action. Northeast Wisconsin Democrats issued the following joint statement:

“Wisconsin’s abortion ban from 1849 criminalizes abortion, and turns doctors who help women into felons. This law is unacceptable. We must stand together to protect our most fundamental freedoms. We must support our brave doctors and the leaders who serve as our ultimate lines of defense, Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul. Thank you to Governor Evers for calling Wednesday’s special session and doing the work to save lives.” – Andrea Gage-Michaels is an elder rights attorney from De Pere running as a Democrat for State Senate District 1.

“Thank you Governor Tony Evers for doing what’s right and calling Wednesday’s Special Session of the State Legislature to take action on Reproductive Rights. I urge lawmakers to repeal this unjust law from 1849 that bans abortion. The majority of Wisconsinites agree that abortion should be legal.” – Roberta Thelen is a Baileys Harbor Town Supervisor running as a Democrat for Assembly District 1.

“The people of Wisconsin want more access to health care, not less. If legislators do not want to put in the effort to do their jobs, then I’d be happy to take their place—and I know my Democratic colleagues running in the November election would too. We are ready to do the work to expand access to health care. All Wisconsinites should be able to make their own private health decisions in consultation with a doctor.” – Renee Gasch is a community organizer and educator from De Pere running as a Democrat for Assembly District 2.

“The legislature decided Wednesday that the rights of Wisconsin women belong where they were in 1849 before the Civil War. By gaveling in and gaveling right out, they failed the most basic portions of the job description; to debate and work together for the people of Wisconsin. In the Assembly I will always show up to work with the goal of protecting our future.” – Joey VanDeurzen is a computer science student from Hobart running as a Democrat in Assembly District 5.

“This is not about justice or about being pro-life. If the Republicans were pro-life, we would have accessible health care, a criminal justice that helps people move back into the communities, and counselors in schools. We will continue to be silenced if we do not take another step forward. I encourage you to get involved in your community. Get involved with Planned Parenthood or on your campus or with Wisconsin Democrats. Help us make this change so that we don’t have to keep talking about what we want people in power to do—we will be there making the decisions ourselves.” – Hannah Beauchamp-Pope is a UWGB student leader from Green Bay running as a Democrat for Assembly District 88.

“I fully support women’s reproductive rights. The federal ruling overturning Roe v Wade means Wisconsin reverts to an 1849 anti-woman bill that makes providing an abortion a felony with no exceptions for rape or incest. My fight is about women’s rights to bodily control, family planning and privacy. We won’t go back!” – Jane Benson is a small business owner in Suamico running as a Democrat for Assembly District 89.

“I am working towards a world where people can get accurate, unbiased medical information, so they can make the best health care decisions they can for themselves and for those they love— including decisions about abortion. As your state representative, I will continue to do everything under my power to ensure that the residents of the 90th know that their representative will continue to advocate for their reproductive freedom with tenacity and courage. This includes passing the Abortion Rights Preservation Act, a bill that would repeal Wisconsin’s archaic 1849 law that criminalizes abortion. This bill is necessary to ensure that Wisconsin women maintain control of their own bodies, health, and lives regardless of the SCOTUS decision.” – Kristina Shelton, Representative for Wisconsin State Assembly District 90 is up for re-election in 2022.