MADISON- Republican lawmakers quickly gaveling in and quickly gaveling out of a special session called by Governor Tony Evers to overturn an 1849 law that bans abortions in Wisconsin.
The Governor initially called for the session earlier this month after a leaked Supreme Court decision appeared to show that the high court was poised to overturn Roe V. Wade.
Lawmakers gathered inside their chambers for roughly 20 seconds today before Senate President Chris Kapenga dismissed them without taking any action.
The state’s 1849 law would allow doctors who perform abortions to be held criminally liable. They would be charged with a Class H felony which carries a prison sentence of up to six years.
“Banning abortions will not stop them from happening, in Wisconsin or anywhere else” Assembly Minority Leader Greta Neubauer said during a press conference prior to the session. “What it will do is it will make abortions unsafe and put people’s lives at risk just for trying to access the abortions they need.”
The short session today didn’t come as a surprise. Senate Majority leader Devin LeMahieu made his party’s intentions clear in a statement earlier this month.
“Wisconsin law has not changed and our pro-life position has not changed,” LeMahieu said. “”We will gavel out of another blatantly political special session call from this partisan governor.”
Governor Evers taking to Twitter to voice his dissatisfaction over lawmakers’ inaction, “Time and time again, the people of Wisconsin have asked Republican legislators to do what they are elected to do– to take action on pressing issues facing our state, to do the right thing, and to help the people we are elected to serve. Today, they once again failed to muster the courage to perform that simple duty,” The governor’s statement read in part.
Republicans today defied the people of this state and rejected my special session to repeal Wisconsin’s criminal abortion ban and ensure reproductive rights in Wisconsin are protected if #SCOTUS overturns #Roe. Read my full statement ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/WcLrHO1N2v— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) June 22, 2022
This afternoon’s session took place as pro-choice supporters gathered and chanted in the Capitol rotunda, demanding lawmakers take action. Outside the Capitol building supporters of Planned Parenthood also gathered, demanding lawmakers overturn the 173 year old law.