Republican attacks on abortion threaten the health of Wisconsinite residents

By Samantha Crowley
MD Candidate – Class of 2025
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Samantha Crowley

As a medical student at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, I made a commitment to continue my education so that I can provide the best possible care for my future patients. Through years of practical and clinical training, one day I will be able to offer life-saving treatments to my patients.

Unfortunately, one of those life-saving treatments — abortion — is no longer readily available in this state after a conservative majority of the Supreme Court ruled Roe v. pick up calf. As someone entering the medical profession, I now have to face the grim reality that I could be thrown in jail just for doing my job. I could be imprisoned for saving someone’s life.

Let me be clear: abortion is health care. And while countless medical professionals across the country support the idea, a Wisconsin law passed in 1849 could mean that physicians in our state can no longer provide complete, comprehensive health care. Abortion is a critical and necessary procedure that can save lives in medical emergencies. It can enable victims of rape or incest to regain control of their lives after an attack. Everyone deserves to be able to decide for themselves whether, when and how they raise a child. Every person deserves the right to make their own medical decisions about their future – a decision that should be made by a patient and their doctor, not some politician. Protecting access to abortion in our state is one of the ways we can ensure reproductive freedom for Wisconsinites.

After the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade, I reckoned with the stark fact that countless people will now die because they don’t have access to safe and legal abortion. At the same time, I watched as Republican politicians celebrated the decision and spewed dangerous anti-choice rhetoric. This came as no surprise, given that despite overwhelming public support for safe and legal access to abortion, Republican politicians have been attacking reproductive health care for years.

Wisconsin Republicans, in particular, have unabashedly supported the 1849 state ban on abortion — and senior Republican politicians have been unwilling to even discuss allowing exceptions in the rape and incest law. When given a chance to change course and restore this important abortion right, every Wisconsin Republican in Congress voted against the Women’s Health Protection Act and the Access to Abortion Access Act passed by the Roe v. Wade as law and would protect people who must travel between states to obtain abortions.

With those votes, Wisconsin Republicans have restricted the ability of health professionals to practice medicine in our state. Lives are at stake this November and abortion is on the ballot. As Republican politicians launch an all-out assault on reproductive rights, Wisconsin Democrats have rallied to fight for access to health care. Governor Evers is committed to restoring abortion rights in our state and has offered clemency to physicians prosecuted for providing abortion care. Gov. Evers’ partner in the judiciary, Attorney General Kaul, said he will not divert state resources from essential services to enforce the state’s abortion ban. Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin has led the legislation before the Senate to codify Roe into law, and Rep. Gwen Moore, Ron Kind and Mark Pocan have joined her to support the bill in the House of Representatives.

Our Democratic leaders stand with the nearly 60 percent of Wisconsinits who support safe and legal access to abortion in our state. Meanwhile, Republicans consistently ignore the will of their constituents and the advice of medical professionals to advance an anti-abortion political agenda. Republican leaders in Congress have even expressed support for a nationwide ban on abortion, proving that GOP leaders will continue to take the most extreme MAGA positions on common sense issues.

This November, Wisconsinites will cast votes that will determine the future of reproductive health care in our state and country. We must elect the pro-choice Mandela Barnes to the US Senate and re-elect Governor Evers and Attorney General Kaul.

The commitment to reproductive freedom in our country has never been higher. It is our responsibility to elect Democrats who will stand up to Republican attacks on our ability to make our own healthcare decisions and my ability to provide the best possible care to my future patients.

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