‘Roe v. Wade is on the ballot’: Wisconsin Democratic Convention takes place in La Crosse

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — Wisconsin democrats are in La Crosse. The focus of the Wisconsin Democratic convention has taken a turn after the Supreme Court’s landmark decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

In order to keep control of the House of Representatives, Democrats will need to win several seats in the upcoming 2022 midterm election.

One of those seats is the third congressional district, which La Crosse is a part of. The seat was previously held by Representative Ron Kind who announced his retirement last year.

State officials say the election will be crucial because women’s rights are on the line.

The message at today’s convention was clear.

“You know the old line about politics. If you can’t change their minds, change their faces,” said Wisconsin attorney general Josh Kaul, while addressing a crowd at the convention.

Roe v. Wade is on the ballot.

“A law passed in 1849. One year after statehood. We are not going back to the middle of the 19th century,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin.

People rallied at the La Crosse Center for the 2022 state democratic convention, but officials say the rally was not one of celebration.

“Today is a somber day of our nation, and it is a dark moment for the integrity of the highest court of the land,” said David Crowly, the county executive of Milwaukee.

It was one of defiance.

“We know that Wisconsinites support comprehensive healthcare access and we are going to fight in every seat to make sure Wisconsinites know what is on the line in this election,” said Greta Neubauer, a member of Wisconsin state assembly.

Chairman of the Wisconsin GOP Paul Farrow says Roe v. Wade has been unconstitutional from the start.

“50 years ago, an activist bench made a decision that wasn’t constitutional, so they’re correcting that,” Farrow said.

Wisconsin governor Tony Evers said the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has made women a second class citizens in the country. Governor Evers says he will offer clemency to any physician who provides an abortion.

“How many other people are going to be going to prison because of an 1849 law or an 1860 law or a 1900 law. This is ridiculous. Clemency will be offered to anyone who is charged and convicted,” he said.

Gov. Evers also says an executive order to block Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion law is on the table.

“If we decide that it is a valuable tool to do it, we will do it as soon as possible,” he said.

Farrow says Gov. Evers only cares about one group of Wisconsinites.

“Well, with this decision, he is telling us he is for his activist base and going against the will of the people,” Farrow said.

Chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic party Ben Wilker says the GOP only cares about political power.

“They’re not trying to serve Wisconsinites. They’re trying to guarantee political power and control over all of our lives,” said Wilker.

Democrats at convention say the midterm elections will be a close race and every vote will matter.

Gov. Evers says he is thankful for border states like Illinois and Minnesota that will continue to offer women abortions.

AG Kaul says he will not be prosecuting any cases under Wisconsin’s abortion ban.