Pro-life law under attack by those who should be enforcing it

Pro-life law under attack by those who should be enforcing it

Governor Tony Evers (D) of Wisconsin has tried -- unsuccessfully so far -- to overturn his state's century-old law that bans abortion

Pro-life law under attack by those who should be enforcing it

Prosecutors in Wisconsin are coming down on both sides of the state's abortion law and an attempt to overturn it.

A Wisconsin court has upheld Wisconsin's 1849 law barring abortion except to save the mother's life (940.04). But in June, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul filed a lawsuit on behalf of Governor Tony Evers challenging the law. The lawsuit, Kaul stated at that time, asks the court "to clarify that Wisconsin's 19th century abortion ban with no exceptions for rape or incest has not gone back into effect."

Gracie Skogman is legislative and PAC director for Wisconsin Right to Life. She argues AG Kaul should be making better use of his time and is, in effect, "derelict" in his duties.

"… Instead of enforcing our anti-abortion statute, he's fighting it in court," she tells AFN. "And his main argument is that the statute is too dated to be enforceable now and just many other baseless claims." She adds, in a press release, that Kaul "should be focused on addressing the needs facing women and their preborn children … instead of undermining this law."

Several county district attorneys have filed separate motions asking that the court dismiss the attorney general's lawsuit.

"I also think it's important to note that this group of prosecutors that have asked the judge to drop the case are making the important argument that neither the governor nor attorney general have been directly harmed by this law – so they, in essence, have no right to be bringing this case," Skogman notes.

The county DAs also argue that the lawsuit improperly restricts their discretion as prosecutors.

In addition to the lawsuit, the Democratic governor has called two separate special sessions of the state legislature – the latest in early October – in his attempt to repeal the current law. He has been unsuccessful in doing so.