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ICYMI: Attorney general candidate Eric Toney doesn’t rule out prosecuting abortion in cases of rape, incest

Oct 03, 2022

ICYMI: Attorney general candidate Eric Toney doesn’t rule out prosecuting abortion in cases of rape, incest

MADISON, Wis. – Republican Attorney General nominee Eric Toney continues to refuse to rule out prosecuting abortions, even in cases of rape or incest. This comes on the heels of Toney’s endorsement by Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, an organization that has called for a national ban on abortion.

Read more about extremist Toney’s extreme stance on abortion:

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Attorney general candidate Eric Toney doesn’t rule out prosecuting abortion in cases of rape, incest

Eric Toney, Wisconsin’s Republican candidate for attorney general, said he wouldn’t rule out using Department of Justice resources to prosecute abortions, even in cases of rape and incest. 

During an interview on WKOW 27 Sunday, Toney said he would look at each case individually but reiterated he would defend abortion laws passed by the GOP-run state Legislature. 

Attorney General Josh Kaul filed a lawsuit in June arguing a 1985 law allowing abortions up to the point of a fetus’ viability supersedes Wisconsin’s 1849 criminal abortion ban. 

The 1849 ban, which originated before the Civil War and at a time when Wisconsin women did not have the right to vote, would ban nearly all abortions in the state, including in cases of rape and incest.

“I’ve sat across from survivors of sexual assault that have gone through that trauma, and I understand it doesn’t go away after a month, or a year; it can last with them forever,” Toney, the district attorney in Fond du Lac County, said during an appearance WKOW 27’s Capital City Sunday show. 

“We need to make sure we are supporting them, that they have those resources available to them, and we take things on a case-by-case basis. We don’t pre-judge things and say, ‘We’re gonna always do this or always do that.”

The Toney campaign did not immediately respond to a request Monday for additional comment. 

With five weeks to go before the Nov. 8 general election abortion is a key issue for Democrats, while Republicans have made crime their main focus. 

The most recent Marquette University Law School Poll showed 28% of Republicans and 62% of independents opposed the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Overall, 60% of poll respondents opposed the decision.

Incumbent Kaul also appeared on WKOW’s Capitol City show where he said even if the state’s 1849 criminal abortion ban is upheld, he would not use DOJ resources to investigate or prosecute abortions.

“We’ve got limited resources at DOJ,” said Kaul, repeating a statement he made after the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v. Wade. “We investigate and prosecute the most serious crimes in the state of Wisconsin, and to shift those resources to going after doctors, nurses, or even somebody who drove a family member to a clinic to obtain an abortion? That would be a huge misuse of DOJ resources.”

In response to Toney’s appearance, Kaul campaign spokesman Joe Oslund called Toney’s stance extreme.

“Eric Toney continues to double down on his promise to divert critical DOJ resources away from public safety to instead investigate doctors and nurses for abortions, even in cases of rape or incest,” Oslund said. “Eric Toney harbors an extreme vision of Wisconsin in which women, including survivors of sexual assault, are denied reproductive freedom.”

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Toney receives endorsements from pro-life groups

Toney was endorsed by Susan B. Anthony Pro Life America Friday, which has called for a national abortion ban. President Marjorie Dannenfelser said she believes that rape exceptions are “abominable.”

Toney has been endorsed by Wisconsin Right to Life, but not Pro-Life Wisconsin. Pro-Life Wisconsin is not endorsing in the governor’s race or the attorney general’s race. 

In the primary election, Pro-Life Wisconsin endorsed Karen Mueller for attorney general and Timothy Ramthun for governor, despite Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels donating money to the organization.

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