Abortion Referendum Will Be On Spring Ballots
Advisory referendum on Wisconsin's abortion ban will be on Milwaukee County ballots during April election.
The Milwaukee County Board approved an advisory referendum Thursday that will ask voters their opinion on Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion ban.
The referendum will be on ballots for the spring 2023 election. It will ask voters if the 19th-century law, “which bans abortion at any stage of pregnancy without exception for rape, incest, or health of the patient, be repealed to allow legal access to abortion care?” The outcome of the advisory referendum will have no legal effect. It’s intended to gauge public opinion for the purposes of policymakers.
The referendum received more than the two-thirds support needed to pass.
The resolution creating the referendum was authored by Sup. Ryan Clancy and co-sponsored by supervisors Sequanna Taylor, Priscilla E. Coggs-Jones, Juan Miguel Martinez, Peter Burgelis, Felesia Martin, Willie Johnson, Jr. and Sheldon Wasserman.
Clancy thanked his colleagues for supporting the resolution and the county residents that advocated for the referendum, saying the proposal was proof that mass action and activism work.
Wasserman, an OBGYN by training, said speculations about nine-month abortions are ridiculous, adding that such a procedure would never be performed in the U.S.
“This is an issue that should not even be in our political arena,” said Martin, adding that bans like the one in Wisconsin are infringements on the bodily autonomy of women and are “amoral.” Martin shared that she has been a victim of incest and that under the state’s current law she would have been forced to carry a pregnancy to term had there been one.
Sequanna Taylor said that the fact women even have to debate an issue of bodily autonomy is an injustice.