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BREAKING: Wisconsin State Journal – Record contradicts Ron Johnson statement that he always supported abortion exceptions

Oct 12, 2022

BREAKING: Wisconsin State Journal – Record contradicts Ron Johnson statement that he always supported abortion exceptions

MADISON, Wis. — Today, the Wisconsin State Journal found that Ron Johnson supported federal abortion legislation that made no exceptions for rape or incest, and “It is not true that the senator has ‘always supported’ such exceptions.”

Wisconsin State Journal: Record contradicts Ron Johnson statement that he always supported abortion exceptions

Key Points

  • “I’ve always supported the, you know, exceptions.”
  • That’s what U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said in a recent interview with a Fox 6 reporter about abortion, specifically a 2011 bill the senator co-sponsored that would have granted fetuses and people equal rights under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
  • That measure didn’t explicitly mention abortion. But it clarified that fetuses from the point of fertilization would be protected by the same rights as people. And it did not include exceptions for rape or incest.
  • That’s a key component of such “personhood” bills, said Mary Ziegler, a law professor and legal historian at the University of California, Davis who writes about abortion.
  • “Personhood is not consistent with rape and incest exceptions because, as most anti-abortion or pro-life groups would tell you, if you view that fetus or unborn child as a person, the same as like a 5-year-old, you couldn’t take the life of the 5-year-old because it was conceived in rape and incest,” Ziegler said.
  • Around the time the 2011 federal measure was introduced, Ziegler said, states were advancing efforts to introduce their own equivalent bills or ballot measures.
  • And in July 2021, Johnson signed onto a U.S. Supreme Court brief asking the high court to uphold a Mississippi law that banned abortions after 15 weeks with exceptions for a “severe fetal abnormality” or medical emergency but not for rape and incest.
  • The 2011 bill wasn’t banning anything in Johnson’s view, Henning said, though Ziegler said the measure would have put into place a complete ban on abortions.
  • So what’s the rest of the story?
  • While most of the abortion measures Johnson supported did allow for exceptions, the 2011 measure did not. It is not true that the senator has “always supported” such exceptions.

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