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Local News

Midterm Elections Will Determine the Fate of Abortion Rights in Wisconsin

Credit: iStock

Reinette LeJeune

With the midterm elections just around the corner, candidates are solidifying their stances and preparing for what will ultimately decide the direction Wisconsin heads towards in the coming years. With the Supreme Court draft opinion leak months ago, all eyes are anxiously keeping watch over what could be the next step towards an authoritarian future as abortion rights are poised to be struck down. Wisconsin’s race for U.S. Senate will be one of the most hotly contested in the country this fall, with implications for which party will be in control of the body in 2023. Let’s do a little run down on the candidates for both the Senate and Governor.

U.S. Senate: Mandela Barnes/ Democrat:

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes entered the Wisconsin Democratic Senate primary with all the makings of an automatic front-runner: statewide name recognition, a national profile, big endorsements and a lead in early polling. An adamant supporter of abortion rights, after the Supreme Court hearings document was leaked, Barnes responded by saying “It has never been more clear why we need to abolish the filibuster and take immediate action to protect every person’s right to make decisions about their own bodies. Republicans have proven they will stop at nothing to strip every individual of their right to an abortion. We must act now.”

U.S. Senate: Ron Johnson/ Republican Incumbent:

Ron Johnson is in full support of abortion bans within the state. Johnson  stated that none of the abortion concerns are a big deal and people are being hysterical over nothing, even so far as to tell constituents to “suck it up and go out of state” if they want an abortion. While he has claimed abortions won’t be going anywhere – he has shown evidence that whatever form of it remains after Roe v. Wade’s repeal, he intends to strike down all safety regulations, returning the state to the times of old when pregnancies largely resulted in the death of the mother (and also often the child) due to improper handling by the state government. 

U.S. Senate: Sarah Godlewski/ Senate Democrat:

Wisconsin State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski has been extremely vocal about her discontent with both Ron Johnson’s time in office and the failing of the Senate to advance the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would have prohibited government restrictions on access to abortion services. “Generations before us didn’t fight for reproductive rights just to have us sit by the wayside and let it all be wiped away. With the future of Roe hanging on by a shoestring, we can no longer afford to elect leaders who treat abortion rights as an afterthought. The only way out is by electing champions who will never back down from this fight–and you can be damn sure I won’t.”

U.S. Senate: Alex Lasry/Senate Democrat:

Millionaire and co-owner/executive of the Milwaukee Bucks, and son of hedge-fund billionaire Mark Lasry, has steadily been catching up to frontrunner Mandela Barnes in the polls, thanks in large part to his massive wealth. While he has not been as adamantly outspoken for change like his competitors, he has left hints that he supports proposals that guarantee a pregnant person’s right to access an abortion and they should be free from medically unnecessary restrictions that interfere with a patient’s individual choice. 

WI Gubernatorial:Tony Evers/Democrat Incumbent Governor:

Our current Governor, Tony Evers, has been outspoken about abortion rights, ready to condemn those in the government trying to take that freedom away from Americans. Since taking office, Evers has supported pro-abortion legislation while also keeping restrictive and outright unconstitutional bans at bay. “Reproductive health care decisions are deeply personal and should be made by their health care providers. Period. Politicians and special interests shouldn’t interfere with those decisions,” Evers stated after the Supreme Court leak in early May. 

WI Gubernatorial:Tim Michels/Gubernatorial Republican Candidate:

Millionaire Tim Michels was initially viewed by most to be an outsider candidate, after all,Michels only spends part of his years within Wisconsin’s borders, often opting instead for his many real estate holdings throughout New York and down the East Coast. That has changed after Donald Trump came out with full endorsement of Michels, giving him a much needed boost in the polls to remain in the game. When it comes to any rights granted to Americans, Michels only supports in-so-far as his Christian extremism will allow, stating on the case of abortion that “I’ve learned that my faith and my family are the only things that really matter. I want to take my devotion to protecting life and standing up for families to Washington. As a candidate for State Senate in 1998 and as a candidate now, I’ve received a 100% rating from Wisconsin Right to Life. I have also received a 100% rating from Pro-Life Wisconsin in my U.S. Senate race..” He is an stark supporter of total repeal and banning of abortion rights should he take office. 

WI Gubernatorial:Rebecca Kleefisch/Gubernatorial Republican Candidate:

The 44th Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin from 2011 to 2019, Kleefisch is once again running for office while brandishing far more robust radical ideals for the state. Originally the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, her lead has all but dwindled as Donald Trump gave his endorsement to her competitor, Tim Michels. Not to be outdone, Kleefisch doubled down on her radical and extremist views. She has announced her absolute dismissal of abortion rights, believing complete and total banning (with no exception for rape or incest) of abortion services as her answer to the nation’s problems. She believes returning to Civil War-era legislation will result in more moral freedom, even though the legislation of those times was responsible for countless deaths of mothers and their babies during or after birth.