The crowd was far smaller than the 20,000 anticipated however lots of Wisconsin’s high Democrats got here out for a reproductive rights rally on the state Capitol Saturday afternoon organized by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin — together with Gov. Tony Evers.
“I’m not going to stand up here and tell you it’s going to be easy because it’s not. It’s going to be hard. The days ahead will be very difficult and the consequences are so real for so many people,” Evers advised a crowd estimated to be round 1,500 by the Madison Police Department. “We cannot turn our back on the clock of reproductive health care access by five decades…. We will not go back. We’re going to fight like hell.”
Whether help for reproductive rights will assist Democrats on the poll field can be examined within the months forward. The Capitol gathering Saturday afternoon felt extra like a partisan political rally than the bigger Madison protest organized by native socialist teams on May 3, the day after Politico reported on the leaked draft ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. But that protest didn’t function the state’s Democratic high brass.
U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, state Senator Melissa Agard, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, and different Democrats and supporters stood behind Evers as he delivered remarks on the rally. With the U.S. Supreme Court poised to overturn Roe v. Wade in June, a close to whole ban on abortions can be reinstated in Wisconsin because of a legislation handed in 1849.
“For three straight years, I’ve had a ringside seat for the attacks on reproductive health care in Wisconsin. And for three straight years I’ve had the honor of vetoing every single one of them,” Evers stated. “We’re here today because we are not going away, we will continue to act. If we can’t count on the courts to protect access to reproductive health care, then we will turn to the legislatures. And if they won’t do it — you know what — we’ll find legislators who will.”
The Madison crowd cheered enthusiastically over that line. However, Republicans have stable majorities within the state Legislature — and even when it’s an exceptionally good 12 months for Democrats — the GOP is all however sure to stay answerable for the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate after the November 2022 elections.
Evers is one among 17 governors calling on the U.S Senate to instantly cross the Women’s Health Protection Act, co-authored by Baldwin. The legislation would convey federal safety to abortion entry, superseding state legal guidelines, however the measure failed on May 12 by 49-51 vote with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin siding with Republicans. Baldwin advised the group she was “deeply disappointed that the legislation did not pass.”
“It served a few very important roles. It laid a marker on the ground for all of us to see who is with us and who is against,” stated Baldwin. “It shows the people of Wisconsin who stands for protecting these constitutional rights and who is trying to take them away. I was proud to stand with you, and the overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites, who believe abortion should be safe and legal.”
Christine Neumann-Ortiz, from the immigration rights group Voces de la Frontera, advised demonstrators “reproductive rights are immigrants rights. Reproductive rights are workers rights.”
“All women, regardless of income or immigration status, should have the right to a safe and legal abortion. There can be no equality and dignity for women in society without the fundamental right of women to control their own reproduction and to determine their own future,” stated Neumann-Ortiz, in each English and Spanish. “Mi cuerpo, mi decision.”
Tanya Atkinson, president of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, delivered the ultimate remarks on the rally. She, too, was life like concerning the uphill political battle Democrats and reproductive rights advocates face within the state. Undeterred, Atkinson stated “this moment is rooted in love.”
“Love is what gives me the courage to be really, really honest with you all. A storm is brewing, the storm is here,” stated Atkinson. “I know what our legislature looks like. I get it. But guess what, they have a job. And the majority of Wisconsinites support access to safe and legal abortion, so call them no matter who they are and demand that they do their job.”