Pro-life efforts in Wisconsin were in shambles the morning after the election after the discovery that one of America’s most pro-life administrations will be replaced by an administration bought by abortion special interests.
Governor Scott Walker and Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch are champions in the pro-life movement. Walker has continuously signed pro-life law that protects children from the moment he took office to this current day. Even this year, Walker was ridiculed by pro-abortion outlets for banning taxpayer insurance coverage on state employees for abortion. The consistent movement toward furthering pro-life legislation in Wisconsin has saved thousands of lives. Under the Walker administration, induced abortions dropped by over 28 percent from 2010 to 2016.
Starting in January, Wisconsin will be under its most ever pro-abortion governor, Tony Evers. Evers is chomping at the bit to reverse Walker-era pro-life legislation, starting with funding America’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.
On the campaign trail, Evers made his extremist views known by comparing the killing of a baby in the womb to the removing of a teenager’s tonsils. If one thing can be expected in the Evers administration it is this, he will stop at nothing to advance the killing of preborn children in Wisconsin.
Thankfully, Wisconsin will continue to have an overwhelming Republican majority in the legislature. Unfortunately, the majorities are just shy of being able to enact future pro-life law. Without a miracle from God, it is certain Evers will veto any pro-life legislation sent to his desk. In Wisconsin, a veto-override requires a two-thirds majority in both the Assembly and Senate. Any pro-life legislation approved in the legislature will almost inevitably be shy by three votes along party lines in the Assembly.
Pro-lifers in Wisconsin will be forced to decide one of two ways. They must ask if no pro-life bill will become law, what should Republicans do in the upcoming legislature? Should we accept defeat and avoid the issue? Should Republicans blindly follow Evers’ plans for furthering an abortion agenda?
If the pro-life community and the Republicans we’ve elected are to follow our shared convictions on the value of life there is only one way to respond. That is to fight with resilience. Those that have fought for human dignity have always had a fight, whether it was the early Republicans opposing slavery or Christians opposed to the dehumanization of Jews in Nazi Germany.
Pro-life leaders can learn from men like William Wilberforce who influenced the west to abandon slavery. Just as Wilberforce proposed banning the slave trade without a possibility of passage, Wisconsin Republicans must propose legislation that will protect life in the womb. Wisconsin Republicans need to stand for life by doing the following three things over the next two years.
First, refuse to cower to Evers’ bullyish tactics on advancing the abortion agenda. It is very likely Wisconsin may enter government stalemate due to the state budget. Evers will likely require funding for Planned Parenthood as a prerequisite to signing the budget. No matter what the cost, pro-life Republicans must not give in to this ploy. By funding Planned Parenthood, the state allows them to provide more resources towards abortion. If we truly believe abortion is the immoral killing of a defenseless human, we must not allow tax-dollars to subsidize the act.
Second, Republican leadership should introduce the strictest limits on abortion that they can pass. In caucus, pro-life Republican legislators must push for and get behind the most conservative pro-life bill they can pass. This will provide a three-fold benefit. First, Evers will go on record vetoing legislation that saves children’s lives. Second, Democrat “no” votes will become useful in the 2020 election. Last, moderate Republicans who only use their pro-life stance as a political chip can be held accountable in a 2020 primary.
Last, Wisconsin Republican’s need to pass a ‘Life-at-Conception Act.’ This legislation would protect the lives of the unborn by simply recognizing the biological fact that the preborn are human beings. The irony of a veto on this bill would be that the “education governor” would reject basic middle-school biology. By introducing this legislation, Wisconsin Republicans can affirm the moral status and rights of all human beings.
The next four years will be frustrating under abortion extremist Tony Evers. However, the pro-life community and politicians have a duty to hold firm and fight for the preborn’s right to life. We won’t win this fight in the next four years. But by furthering the cause of human justice, we will win soon enough – just like William Wilberforce.
Daniel Degner is a seminary student earning a Masters in Bioethics from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.