Right-Wing Group That Wants to Criminalize Abortion Backs Dan Kelly State Supreme Court Campaign

Dan Kelly Supporters Want Court Action to Allow Enforcement of Abortion Ban Dating to 19th Century

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MADISON, Wis. — A right-wing group that supports criminalizing abortion in Wisconsin is backing Dan Kelly’s state Supreme Court campaign, according to a recent announcement from the campaign arm of Wisconsin Right to Life (WRTL). One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne noted the news is another sign of the extremism of Dan Kelly.

“Dan Kelly and his campaign supporters would use a 19th century law to threaten doctors, nurses and others with felonies for providing women with health care,” commented Browne. “That’s not just extreme, it’s dangerous.”

In the 2019 race for the state high court, the candidate questionnaire for WRTL asked a single yes or no question: do you favor a reversal of the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade?

A state law dating to the 19th century makes performing an abortion a felony criminal offense in Wisconsin. That law became unenforceable with the Supreme Court of the United States ruling in Roe v. Wade, which established the constitutional right to access abortion.

Overturning the 1973 Roe decision, as supported by WRTL, would mean that abortion would again be criminalized. Doctors, nurses and others would be threatened with felonies for helping a woman have an abortion in almost every circumstance, even pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.

This is not the first time the extremists at WRTL made a push to put Kelly on the state high court. In his 2016 application for appointment to the Supreme Court Kelly included a letter of recommendation from WRTL’s executive director in which she touted legal work he did for the organization as a private practice attorney.

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One Wisconsin Now specializes in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.