Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers Vetoes 5 Abortion-Related Bills, Including 3 He Vetoed in 2019

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers vetoed five anti-abortion bills on Friday as debates on abortion ramp up nationwide.

The Democratic governor vetoed the bills, all of which were written by Republicans, saying that they were restrictive for reproductive rights. Evers is running for re-election in 2022 and has made ease of women's healthcare, including abortion, a key running point. The Republicans who wrote the bills cannot override the veto due to the party not having enough votes in Legislature to do so.

"I've said it before, and I'll say it again today," Evers tweeted in his announcement of the vetoes, "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."

Some of the bills he vetoed were re-written ones proposed to him in 2019. One such bill proposed charging doctors with criminal offenses if they do not give medical care to babies that, in extremely rare cases, survive abortion attempts. Another returning bill would have required doctors to encourage women seeking medicine-induced abortions to just take one capsule in order to continue the pregnancy. The third bill from 2019 would have banned abortions based on sex or race.

These vetoes come as the future of Roe v. Wade, the law that made abortion legal in the U.S., is in question. The Supreme Court is hearing cases on multiple laws across the country that would ban abortions on different levels.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Bans Off Our Bodies
Wisconsin Governor Tom Evers vetoed five anti-abortion bills on Friday. Abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion protesters demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on December 1. Photo by Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Republican legislative leaders did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Violators of the failed abortion attempt law would be guilty of a felony punishable by up to six years in prison.

The bill also would make intentionally causing the death of a child born alive as a result of an abortion a felony punishable by life in prison.

Doctors insist the proposal is a solution in search of a problem. They and other opponents said babies are almost never born alive during failed abortion attempts and in the rare instances in which they are, doctors are already ethically and legally bound to try and keep them alive.

The bill's supporters said the measure would remove any gray areas in the law.

A second bill Evers vetoed would require doctors to provide the parents of fetuses and embryos that test positive for congenital condition information about the condition.

"Killing an unborn baby because of their sex, race or disability is not health care," said Republican Senator Julian Bradley 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."

A fourth measure Evers vetoed would reduce funding for abortion providers by prohibiting the state from certifying them as a provider under Medicaid. There would be exceptions in cases of sexual assault or incest or if the woman's life is in danger.

The claim that a medicine-induced abortion can be reversed has been criticized by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association as not based in science and potentially threatening to the patient's life.

A Wisconsin law enacted in 1849 made abortion illegal, but it has been unenforceable since the Roe v. Wade decision. That ban would take effect again if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Tony Evers
All the bills vetoed by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers were written by Republicans. In this August 27, 2020 file photo, Evers speaks during a news conference in Kenosha, Wisconsin. AP Photo/Morry Gash, File