Tim Michels, the Republican candidate for governor of Wisconsin, said on Friday he would support an abortion ban that includes exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, a change from his position. earlier on the issue.
In an interview on Dan O’Donnell, a conservative Wisconsin radio show, Michels was asked if he would sign an abortion ban bill that included exceptions.
“Yeah, yeah, I would sign that bill,” Michels said.
Michels’ new stance is a move to the center after his strong support for an 1849 state law, banning abortion in almost all cases, which was temporarily reinstated after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in June. At a recent campaign event, Michels told supporters, “I’m not going to soften my stance on abortion.”
NBC News reported on Wednesday on Michels’ apparent campaign strategy to avoid toning down hot-button issues like abortion in the run-up to Election Day, despite national headwinds showing abortion has become a motivating factor. major challenge for Democratic and independent voters ahead of the November election.
Asked Friday if her new stance on abortion was a change, Michels dodged the question.
“I understand that the Governor, you know, you’re not the ultimate authority on the things you’re working with the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Assembly, the State Senate, the Assembly, they’re the closer to the people. So if so, this bill was presented to me, I would sign it,” he said on the Dan O’Donnell show.
Democrats, including Gov. Tony Evers, immediately jumped on Michels’ remarks on Friday.
“Wisconsin voters are smart enough to see through Tim Michels’ dishonest attempt to hide his hardline views on abortion, including his clear support for a ban that contains no exceptions for rape or incest,” Evers campaign spokeswoman Kayla Anderson said in a statement.
“Michels has taken the most extreme position possible on this issue and, as governor, would not hesitate to pass sweeping legislation that would put women’s lives at risk. He will say or do anything to win an election, and he cannot be trusted to protect reproductive freedom,” Anderson added.
In a statement, Michels’ campaign spokeswoman Anna Kelly denied that the candidate’s stance had changed and instead criticized Evers, saying he “didn’t say whether he supported restrictions on the abortion or if he supported abortion on demand until the moment of birth.”
Wisconsin’s 173-year-old law makes abortion a crime; doctors who perform the procedure face up to six years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. He makes an exception only to save the woman’s life — but not for her health or for pregnancy resulting from rape or incest.
Michigan voters this fall will decide whether to enshrine abortion rights in a constitutional amendment after the state Supreme Court ordered election officials to put the measure on the ballot.