Assembly GOP Asks Dems to Avoid Abortion in New Session


Author: Will Kenneally

State Assembly Republicans are calling on Democrats to keep abortion legislation off of the table in the coming session.

Members of the Assembly Republican caucus spoke at a press conference today, and mirrored concerns over abortion legislation that President Donald Trump brought up in his State of the Union address.

“Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments from birth,” Trump said.

Vos said he did not want to see the same legislation tried in Wisconsin.

“There is obviously–all across the nation–a nationwide attack on the unborn, and I am here to say that along with my colleagues we’re not going to allow that to happen in Wisconsin,” Vos said.

Vos asked Democrats to not re-introduce a bill that was brought to committee last session. The bill ensured women could seek an abortion up to the point of viability for the fetus, or afterward if deemed medically necessary.

“Legislation similar to the one that was introduced last time is guaranteed to not see the light of day,” Vos said. “So we would ask our colleagues to not put this body through the same kind of tribulations that we saw in Virginia–it wouldn’t be worth our time–and we certainly hope our [Democratic] colleagues will respect the fact that that bill’s not going to move.”

Vos instead asked the Democrats to join Republicans in supporting additional resources for adoption services.

“One of the things we’d like to work on with Gov. [Tony] Evers, and we’re hope to do during the course of the budget, is to focus on increasing resources for every single family who would like to adopt a child to be able to have the opportunity to do that,” Vos said.

It is unclear what traction expanding adoption resources might get with Democrats. Vos said he would sit down with Evers later in the day. Assembly Democratic leaders did not return a request for comment on whether they plan to introduce an abortion rights bill, nor whether they support expanding adoption resources.

Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, who co-authored last session’s abortion rights bill said the bill codifies existing protections under Roe v. Wade into state law.

“The only thing ‘radical’ is Speaker Vos’s belief that he and other politicians should make women’s personal, private healthcare decisions, rather than women themselves,” Taylor wrote in a statement.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to include Rep. Chris Taylor’s comment.