(The Center Square) – Wisconsin’s attorney general says he wouldn’t enforce Wisconsin’s abortion laws if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Attorney General Josh Kaul on Tuesday said he would not use his office to prosecute doctors if abortion is made illegal in the state.
“As long as I am AG, the [state’s Department of Justice] will not be using its resources to investigate or prosecute alleged violations of the 170-plus-year-old abortion ban on the books," Kaul said in an interview.
Wisconsin is one of several states that would automatically outlaw abortion if the Supreme Court strikes down Roe.
Kaul said it would be up to local prosecutors to make any decisions about cases.
"I believe that our investigative and prosecutorial resources in Wisconsin should investigate and prosecute things like violent crime and drug trafficking and not be diverted from those investigative and prosecutorial needs to be used to go after people for abortions,” Kaul added.
The Republicans who are running against Kaul this year are, unsurprisingly, taking the opposite view.
Fond du Lac County D.A. and candidate Eric Toney said on Twitter that the top law enforcer in Wisconsin must enforce the state’s laws.
“This is and always should have been a state issue,” Toney said on Twitter. “I am pro-life and I will enforce and defend the laws as passed by the legislature and signed into law."
Republican Candidate Adam Jarchow blasted Kaul for openly stating that he will ignore a state law simply because he doesn’t like the law.
"Josh Kaul’s unwillingness to enforce the laws of Wisconsin should disqualify him from the job of Attorney General," said in a statement. "As a pro-life father of two, I will always support the right to life."
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin said abortion prosecutions are unlikely, because they would stop providing abortions in the state if Roe is overturned.
Wisconsin’s governor, on Monday, said Congress needs to step in to make sure there won’t be any state cases over abortion.
Gov. Tony Evers and 16 other governors signed a letter asking Congress pass new laws to protect abortions post-Roe.
“Reproductive healthcare decisions are deeply personal and should be made by patients in consultation with their healthcare providers, not by politicians,” the governors wrote. “Overturning Roe will turn back the clock on reproductive health, and Congress must immediately take action to ensure that our nation does not go backward and that the rights of all Americans to access reproductive healthcare and abortion continue to be protected.”