Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has promised to grant clemency to anyone charged under the state's 1849 law that bans most abortions.
The law, called "outdated" by Evers, was reactivated after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade law last Friday. The 173-year-old law says abortion is only legal in Wisconsin if the mother's life is in danger, which has prompted Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin to suspend its abortion services.
“I don’t think that a law that was written before the Civil War, or before women secured the right to vote, should be used to dictate these intimate decisions,” Evers said at the Wisconsin Democratic Party Convention, adding that he will do everything in his power to give all women a choice.
"Our work to do the right thing for the people of this state must continue. We will fight this decision in every way we can with every power we have," Evers said in a statement.
"I will never stop fighting to make sure that every single Wisconsinite has the right to consult their family, their faith and their doctor to make the reproductive healthcare decision that is right for them, and without interference from politicians or members of the Supreme Court who don't know anything about their life circumstances, values or responsibilities."
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul has also said he'll fight the 1849 law. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that four leading Republican candidates for Wisconsin governor — former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, businessman Tim Michels, state Rep. Tim Ramthun and businessman Kevin Nicholson — all have been outspoken critics of abortion rights and have stated previously they would attempt to keep the 1849 law intact.
Evers noted their views, saying abortion would be in greater jeopardy if a Republican wins the election.
“You think it’s bad now? The four Republicans that are going after me, one of them we’re going to beat, they are going to make it worse," Evers said.
Evers also said he'll provide clemency to doctors who are charged with violating the law.
According to Wisconsin law, anyone who performs an abortion would be committing a felony, with doctors facing up to six years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. The law does make an exception only to save the life of a woman, however, it does provide exceptions for females who are victims of rape or incest.