By Alexis McGill Johnson
It’s something you’ve undoubtedly heard before: Reproductive rights are on the ballot this year. And it’s the truth. The stakes of this election couldn’t be higher for Wisconsinites and the entire country.
In Wisconsin, access to abortion is threatened by a pre-Roe ban that dates back to 1849. This ban has put over a million women, trans men, and non-binary people at risk of losing their right to abortion and threatened abortion providers with a risk of prosecution simply for doing their jobs.
Anti-abortion lawmakers from Wisconsin to Washington, D.C. have spent decades systematically stripping away their constituents’ ability to make decisions about their bodies and lives — and they are more emboldened following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Now, politicians like Wisconsin’s own Ron Johnson are showing us exactly how far they are willing to go if they get more power: They want to pass a national abortion ban.
With the election less than five weeks away, Ron Johnson has tried to distance himself from his shameful record on abortion.
But, he can’t hide from the fact that he called overturning Roe v. Wade a “victory.” He can’t rewrite history to erase his fight to uphold a law banning abortion after 15 weeks without exceptions for rape or incest. He can’t erase his name as a cosponsor of every abortion ban Lindsey Graham has introduced for decades. He can’t deny that he has helped elect extreme candidates and confirmed judges that are staunchly opposed to reproductive rights. His willingness to compromise women’s freedoms and attack our constitutional rights is not only disqualifying but dangerous.
We know exactly where Ron Johnson stands when it comes to abortion, and it’s not where Wisconsities stand. Ron Johnson doesn’t belong in our doctors’ offices or in the Senate.
That’s why we need to elect reproductive rights champions like Mandela Barnes.
The contrast on this year’s ballot couldn’t be clearer: While Ron Johnson is compromising our bodies, our dignity, and our freedoms, Mandela Barnes is fighting hard to rebuild and protect our constitutional rights and ensure that our health care decisions are up to us. Mandela has shown time and again that he will be the champion we need in the Senate. He promises that he will vote for the Women’s Health Protection Act, support our right to make decisions about our own bodies, and protect access to abortion and birth control.
Now more than ever, we need to use our voices and our votes to defeat politicians like Ron Johnson.
We can do this! Just look at the overwhelming defeat of the Kansas ballot referendum in August, where voters rejected the effort to remove protections for abortion rights from the state’s constitution.
The road to reproductive freedom runs through Wisconsin, and the results of this election will determine the future of abortion access for Wisconsinites and tens of millions of people across the country for generations to come.
Restoring the constitutional right to abortion will take all of us — and we need Mandela Barnes to fight for us in the Senate.
Alexis McGill Johnson is the president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.