During an interview on WSAU, Vos said Tuesday he is willing to require these practices in order to allow exceptions for rape and incest. The comments come as state lawmakers are gathering for the first time since Roe v. Wade was overturned and trigger laws were put into effect.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, while Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is working toward ending the state’s ban, Vos wants to keep it but with that process for exceptions. Requiring a police report in order to get an abortion for rape and/or incest matches rules in place in states like Georgia, Idaho, and Oklahoma.
Vos also said Tuesday that while he would be willing to add this requirement, he wants Republican lawmakers to make policy and campaign more in line with what the majority of voters think. According to a recent Marquette University Law School survey, 84% of Wisconsin voters, including 73% of Republicans, supported rape and incest exceptions to the state’s abortion ban.
“Having a discussion about where society is and making sure that we are in tune with the majority in society is important because we have to work on winning the culture war, but we also have to work on making sure that we have a position that is tenable and that makes sense to the vast majority of people,” Vos said.
“If every election going forward is about abortion, we’ve got to figure out ways to either do a better job messaging or to make sure that we are on the majority side for more than just one or two issues.”
A spokeswoman for Evers also commented on the issue Wednesday, assuring that Evers would veto legislation that included a police report requirement.
“The people of Wisconsin chose to reject radical, divisive policies and re-elect Gov. Evers last Tuesday because he’s among the 70% of Wisconsinites who believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases,” said Britt Cudaback, spokeswoman for Evers, referring to recent Marquette University Law School polling.
“Gov. Evers spent his first four years in office defending reproductive freedom and vetoing radical bills like this, and he’ll gladly spend the next four years doing the same.”
According to 2020 data compiled by the U.S. Department of Justice, a majority—about 77%—of sexual assaults are not reported to the police.
“If the only way to access abortion is for a victim of sexual violence to report to law enforcement, they’re going to have to engage with a system that most survivors don’t want to engage with,” Ian Henderson, policy and systems director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“Sexual violence is about domination and control and accessing the full range of reproductive health care (and) accessing abortion services is a way of restoring decision-making power, so any limitation on that is restricting someone’s bodily autonomy.”
Requiring a police report and forcing victims to obtain permission is not only insensitive but “cruel and unusual punishment” for survivors.
“We do know that the overwhelming number of sexual assaults that occur are not reported, and forcing a person who has experienced sexual assault or rape or incest to report that trauma when they’re not ready to be able to face this flies in the face of all evidence-based policy making,” said Senate Minority Leader Melissa Agard.
More than 10 million men and women experience domestic violence and abuse each year, estimates the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). You are not alone and what you are going through is not your fault. Click here for a list of resources for survivors.
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