Abortion access dominates discussion at Wisconsin Democratic Convention in La Crosse

NOW: Abortion access dominates discussion at Wisconsin Democratic Convention in La Crosse

WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- State democrats are hoping to strengthen their campaigns this weekend in La Crosse at the 2022 Wisconsin Democratic Convention.

Following Friday's court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, abortion access quickly became a hot topic for Wisconsin politicians.

The state's top democrats used the stage at the La Crosse Center Saturday, June 25 as a place to condemn the SCOTUS decision and share their plans to keep abortion accessible in Wisconsin, especially depending on some key elections this fall.

"I have seven grandkids that are girls or young women. Yesterday they were made second class citizens. That's bull," Governor Tony Evers said on Saturday.

Democratic leaders at the convention, including Evers, Senator Tammy Baldwin, and Attorney General Josh Kaul criticized both the court's decision and an 1849 law on the books in Wisconsin that would make performing an abortion a felony. Evers ensured protection from that law under his watch.

"I will provide clemency to any physician that is charged under that law," Evers said.

Speakers at the event also emphasized the role Roe v. Wade will play heading into election season.

"We have got to win every statewide race, and send a message that will be remembered for decades to come, that if you take rights away from Wisconsinites you are going to lose your seat in office," said Attorney General, Josh Kaul.

The democrats on Saturday made a point to remind Wisconsin voters that abortion access will be on the ballot this fall.

"When we restore these freedoms, it's not going to happen overnight, but it's only going to happen when all of us exercise our voices and our votes," said Senator Tammy Baldwin.

Before the convention Saturday, state republicans held media availability, where party representatives spoke out against democratic leaders in Wisconsin.

Paul Farrow, the chair for the Republican Party of Wisconsin, briefly touched on how the court's decision will impact their voters.

"The republicans know we're pro-life. The vast majority of people know that we stand for the sanctity of life from the beginning, and we'll continue to work on that," Farrow said, "What I'm looking forward to as we move forward is this conversation going back to where it belongs at the state level. This wasn't a federal issue and that's where it should be."

The underlying goal of the state's democratic party is to re-elect Governor Tony Evers and unseat Senator Ron Johnson.

The 2022 Wisconsin Democratic Convention wraps up Sunday, June 26.

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