The latest pro-life news (03/06/2023)


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From Pro-Life Wisconsin:


February’s primary election for Wisconsin Supreme Court resulted in former state supreme court justice Daniel Kelly and Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Janet Protasiewicz advancing to the general election scheduled for Tuesday, April 4.

It is imperative that Wisconsinites elect a justice who will serve fairly and impartially, respecting and upholding the rule of law. That justice is Daniel Kelly. The same cannot be said for Janet Protasiewicz who has consistently and brazenly pronounced her public policy preferences on matters likely to come before the high court, including abortion and redistricting. Her public support for ‘abortion rights’ is a clear indication that her thumb will be on the scales of justice when it comes to adjudicating our current abortion ban. Janet Protasiewicz will legislate from the bench!

Wisconsin’s current law abortion ban, s.940.04, is being challenged in our state court system by pro-abortion Democrat Attorney General Josh Kaul. If we lose our tenuous 4-3 conservative majority on the state supreme court, a new liberal, activist court will likely rule s.940.04 unenforceable, restoring abortion on demand in Wisconsin. Even worse, a liberal supreme court could find a right to abortion in our state constitution, thus overturning all our pro-life laws. We cannot let this happen! We cannot let Janet Protasiewicz return abortion on demand to Wisconsin.

Justice Kelly is the only candidate in this race with a proven record of judicial conservatism, and therefore the only candidate we trust to uphold the rule of law. His belief in the dignity of the human person makes him the only choice for pro-life voters. We are extremely proud to endorse him.

The Victory Fund PAC is urging pro-life/ pro-family / pro-rule of law citizens across Wisconsin to vote In-Person Absentee, Absentee by Mail, or on Election Day Tuesday, April 4, for Daniel Kelly for Wisconsin Supreme Court. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for this nonpartisan race. Learn more about where you should vote, who else is on your local ballot, and for information on voting absentee (by mail or in-person) if you cannot vote on Election Day here.

Outcomes in Wisconsin Supreme Court race, challenge to abortion law seen as inextricably linked
Alexander Shur | Wisconsin State Journal, Feb. 24, 2023

When voters head to the polls in April, they will not only be choosing a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice. They could also effectively decide the outcome in a highly consequential case currently moving through the courts: the challenge to the state’s near-total ban on abortion.

That’s because, unlike possibly ever before, one of the candidates has all but pledged to restore the rights the law currently blocks, while the other — though far less vocal on the issue — has asserted that abortion “involves taking the life of a human being,” the main argument advanced by backers of the 1849 law.

While both conservative candidate Dan Kelly and liberal candidate Janet Protasiewicz have declined to say how they would rule on the abortion case that might come before them, Protasiewicz has been unusually specific in endorsing the outcome that is at the heart of that case — summed up in the sometimes politically fraught phrase of “reproductive rights.”

With the court’s 4-3 conservative majority on the line, the winner of the April 4 election will likely be the deciding vote in any challenge to the law.

“We are in fairly new territory here,” said Ryan Owens, a UW-Madison political science professor who briefly ran for state attorney general as a Republican. “We have seen candidates in the past lay out their judicial philosophies pretty clearly. Judge Protasiewicz, however, takes this beyond what we have seen before.”

Hotly contested judicial elections put candidates in an “impossible position,” said Charles Geyh, a law professor at Indiana University who specializes in judicial conduct and ethics.

While judges take an oath to uphold the law impartially, they must also win voter support, “which puts pressure on them to curry favor with voters whose views the candidates — as judges — are sworn to disregard,” Geyh said. “The noisier, nastier, and costlier judicial campaigns become, the greater the pressure on judicial candidates to behave less like judges than politicians to win their races.”

‘Rights at stake’

Protasiewicz (pronounced “pro-tuh-SAY-witz”) has repeatedly touted her abortion rights views in television ads and on the campaign trail. It led to conservative allegations that she was violating the Wisconsin Code of Judicial Conduct, which prohibits candidates from pledging how they would rule on specific cases. In the past, she’s qualified those statements by saying she was only stating her personal values.

But after winning a four-way primary on Tuesday along with Kelly, the second-place finisher, Protasiewicz’ campaign said on Twitter that “reproductive rights are at stake” in the election, a statement that goes beyond the candidate’s personal values and suggests what voters can expect from her on the bench.

“It’s the same problem as with every other issue that she brings up,” Kelly said of the tweet. “She is proposing that she’d go to the court as a politician in a black robe, and that’s all she would be.”

While Kelly has been far less vocal about abortion than Protasiewicz, he has been endorsed by anti-abortion groups including Pro-Life Wisconsin, which only endorses candidates “who recognize the personhood of the preborn baby and hold the principled and compassionate no-exceptions pro-life position.” He also wrote in a since-deleted 2012 blog post calling abortion “a policy deadly to children,” and provided legal counsel to anti-abortion group Wisconsin Right to Life.

Another anti-abortion group, Women Speak Out PAC, pledged to put six figures behind Kelly after he became the conservative nominee on Tuesday. National and regional Planned Parenthood groups, meanwhile, have pledged to put seven figures into the race backing Protasiewicz.

“Reproductive rights are absolutely at stake in this race because Dan Kelly’s extreme views against abortion are clear,” Protasiewicz spokesperson Sam Roecker said.

Not just here

Nationwide, candidates in judicial elections have become far more vocal about their stances on issues since the U.S. Supreme Court in 2002 clarified that prohibiting candidates from stating their values violated their First Amendment rights, said University of Pittsburgh political science professor Chris Bonneau, who studies the politics of state judicial selection.

“I think the difference (between Protasiewicz and Kelly) is one is being upfront and one is trying to hide behind the charade,” Bonneau said. “I mean, look, does anyone really think Dan Kelly doesn’t have views on abortion? Of course he does, and that’s okay.”

“The question isn’t whether or not they have views … the issue is whether or not they can hear cases fairly,” he said.

Kelly’s restraint in talking about abortion, Bonneau said, could just as well stem from a key tactic employed by any campaign for public office: “If your views are not mainstream, you want to hide them.”

Eighty-four percent of registered voters in Wisconsin favor abortion exceptions for rape and incest, which aren’t included in the current ban, according to a Marquette Law School Poll from November. And only 37% of Wisconsinites favor the decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

Where the case stands

Although not before the court yet, the challenge to Wisconsin’s abortion ban is working its way through the courts after Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul filed it last June, days after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Kaul’s lawsuit alleges that the 1849 law, which bans all abortions except those required to save the mother’s life, has been superseded by a 1985 state law. That law, adopted after Roe established abortion as a constitutional right, prohibits abortions after fetal viability but includes exceptions to protect the mother’s life or health, conflicts with the earlier ban.

Kaul also argues the law banning abortions is no longer in effect because of a legal principle that laws may become unenforceable after a considerable period of disuse.

The case has faced long delays. Initially, Kaul filed the case against Republican legislative leaders. The leaders asked a judge to dismiss the case, saying they don’t enforce the law. In September, Kaul refiled the case against the district attorneys in Milwaukee, Dane and Sheboygan counties, where the state’s abortion clinics had operated until they suspended operations after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe.

The three district attorneys in December asked a Dane County judge to toss out the lawsuit, alleging that Kaul does not have standing to bring the matter against the elected prosecutors, saying he wasn’t personally harmed by the ban and didn’t have standing to take the case forward. Kaul disagreed and asked for the case to proceed.

Last week, one of the defendants again called for a Dane County Circuit judge to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the case didn’t present a controversy for the courts to settle and noting the law hasn’t been repealed by subsequent legislation.

Judges typically decide whether to proceed in a case within 90 days of a briefing or hearing to dismiss the case, whichever is later. The briefing on the district attorneys’ motion to dismiss was completed on Feb. 13. There is no scheduled hearing yet. Should the Dane County judge choose to dismiss the case, Kaul would have up to 90 more days to file an appeal.

Whichever direction the case takes, it will almost certainly end up before the Supreme Court. And by that time, Kelly or Protasiewicz will almost certainly be on the bench.

No matter what happens with the current lawsuit, though, other challenges are likely to follow, especially if Protasiewicz wins and gives the court a liberal majority.

Kaul’s case asserts the state’s abortion laws are incompatible. It does not, for example, allege that the right to abortion is guaranteed in the state Constitution, which is a legal strategy other liberal lawsuits can take.

“Planned Parenthood will continue to monitor the attorney general’s lawsuit as well as evaluate its legal options and strategy,” Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin legal director Michelle Velasquez said.

19 STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL WARN MAJOR RETAILERS THAT MAILING ABORTION PILLS IS STILL A CRIME: (LifeSiteNews) – “The attorneys general of 19 states are warning Walmart, Costco, Kroger, and other major retailers with pharmacy departments that, contrary to recent guidance from the Biden administration, dispensing abortion pills by mail remains illegal and carries serious consequences.” Read the full story here.


Since their founding in 2007, 40 Days for Life campaigns have saved 22,829 babies through prayer, fasting, and peaceful vigil outside of local abortion facilities. While abortion is illegal here in Wisconsin, abortion-bound women continue to visit local Planned Parenthood facilities and community “health” centers to obtain contraception and information on the procurement of abortion. Our work is not done!

We invite you to commit to prayer time on the sidewalks outside these facilities during this Spring campaign, February 22-April 2. Bring your friends and family, or call us if you’d like a member of our Pro-Life Wisconsin staff to join you. If you or your campaign is in need of signs, we can ship you one or as many as you need. Please go to a campaign near you and get involved. Current cities include Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee, Sheboygan, and Waukesha.

40 Clergy, 40 Days: In past years, the presence of clergy has proven a very powerful witness and has influenced many women to choose life outside of abortion facilities! Our goal is to have one priest, deacon, or religious praying every day of the campaign for one hour. Sign up online here. If you are a clergy member and would like to commit to one hour of prayer outside these facilities, email our Outreach Director at or call 262.796.1111 ext. 114.


Since late October 2017, Choose Life license plates have been available to Wisconsin motorists, and every penny earned through the sale of the plates directly aids Wisconsin’s incredible pregnancy resource centers and initiatives. With over 2,171 of these plates on cars in the Badger State, sales have resulted in over $210,993 granted to over twenty-five Wisconsin pregnancy resource centers in five years.

With a greater need to serve pregnant women in our state, be a part of the mission to save lives and aid women, get your Choose Life Wisconsin license plate today! For more information call Pro-Life Wisconsin at 262-796-1111 ext. 110.

For a list of pregnancy resource centers in Wisconsin, visit


6th annual Pro-Life Wisconsin Prayer Card Art Contest is underway for students in grades 1-12! Do you love painting, drawing, photography, or graphic design? Submit your artwork and have a chance to win the 2023 contest for your grade. If chosen as a winner, we will reach out to your pastor for a pro-life prayer which will be printed on the back of your artwork in prayer card form. Prayer cards will be printed and distributed through your church and PLW. All entries must be postmarked by May 1, 2023.

Grade winners will receive:
Their design featured on a prayer card
– 500 prayer cards for their church
– 3 tickets to the 2023 PLW Love for Life Gala

ONE GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive all of the above plus $100 cash

For more details and to submit artwork, visit our website here.

—Pro-Life WI


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Thanks for reading!

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