“100% of Assembly Republicans were absent from their duties this noon in our chamber at the state Capitol. Unlike Democrats, not one were in their seats at the appointed hour to take up the repeal of Wisconsin’s pre-Civil War criminal abortion law, part of Governor Evers’ special session on reproductive rights.

“Even Republican leadership were derelict in their duties, refusing to come out of their offices to gavel in the Special Session. Instead, they hurried into the chamber two hours late to gavel in and out after most Democratic members had left. The Special Session was over in under 60 seconds.

“My question is who are these Republicans so afraid of? The only answer I can find is that they are afraid of their constituents.

“Even legislative Republicans know that a majority of people in Wisconsin and across the country (58%-80%, depending on polling) support the right of women to legal and safe abortion health care if they choose it. And, the new Marquette Poll shows that a paltry 11% of Wisconsin residents support an abortion law like our 1849 statute, which allows no exceptions for rape or incest.

“Because they are afraid to show up to do their job, legislative Republicans have failed to keep the oath they took to serve the people of Wisconsin, even the ones with whom they may disagree. Their failure to do so will help return us to a dangerous and callous past we thought had been put to rest 50 years ago.

“The probable reactivation of the 1849 anti-abortion law is perhaps the gravest threat to the personal privacy and autonomy of Wisconsinites that I have seen in my 24 years in this Legislature.”

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