Barnes and Johnson on abortion, key issue in Wisconsin election

Abortion is a key issue in the November 8 election. The names on the ballot make different promises about what they will do.

Democrat Mandela Barnes, candidate to overthrow Republican Ron Johnson in the US Senate, campaigned on the abortion issue in Racine on Monday, October 3.

FOX6 News couldn’t connect with Johnson on Monday, but his campaign accused Barnes of trying to distract from other issues.

Barnes stopped in Racine for what he calls the “Ron Against Roe Tour”.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

“He backed eight different versions of a national abortion ban,” Barnes said.

Johnson co-sponsored and passed a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy with exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. He also co-sponsored a bill called the “Life at Conception Act”. The bill’s summary says it would declare “that the constitutionally guaranteed right to life is vested in every human being from the time of fertilization, cloning and any other time an individual is born.” Democrats say that would lead to abortion being considered murder without exception.

Johnson also welcomed the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision reversing Roe v. Wade, while Barnes criticized the decision.

“On the issue of abortion, where would you set restrictions? FOX6’s Jason Calvi asked Barnes. “Would you establish restrictions on abortion, until birth, for example?”

“I support us getting back to Roe,” Barnes said. “This is the law that has worked for 50 years.”

Roe only allowed abortions up to viability, in which case the Supreme Court said states could restrict or even ban abortion.

“What about past viability? Calvi asked. “Would you be in favor of a ban on abortion after viability?

“Like I said, it’s about getting back to Roe,” Barnes said. “It’s about making sure women can make the best choice for their health care, and doctors shouldn’t be criminalized for helping a woman make that decision.”

(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The Marquette University Law School poll in September found that 63% of Wisconsin voters opposed Roe’s cancellation while 30% supported him.

Since the Supreme Court ruling, Wisconsin’s abortion ban from 1849 is back on the books. He allows an exception – to save the life of the mother.

Gov. Tony Evers hosted a campaign roundtable on abortion in Milwaukee on Monday.

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Republicans say Democrats are trying to distract from issues like rising crime.

Governor Evers on Tuesday called the Wisconsin Legislature to a special session for what the governor called a path to repealing the state’s abortion ban. It’s a very long process that would include amending the Wisconsin Constitution to allow voters to place a referendum on the ballot, which is currently not allowed in the state. Changing the constitution requires two consecutive legislative sessions to pass the proposal, and then it would be put to a statewide vote. If those three steps took place and voters could finally call for a statewide referendum, the governor says he hopes voters will call for a referendum to scrap the old ban on abortion from the state.

Johnson’s campaign statement

“Barnes is frantically trying to change the narrative after more Wisconsin voters see who he really is: a dangerous Democrat who wants to defund the police and abolish ICE. Make no mistake, Barnes’ anti-public safety agenda would put Wisconsin families at risk.”

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