Wisconsin’s Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson says his proposed referendum on abortion is simple.
Johnson, late Tuesday, released his suggestion for a ballot question that would allow voters in the state to decide on a new abortion law.
“At what point does society have the responsibility to protect the life of an unborn child?” the question asks.
Johnson then gives voters 10 options, ranging “From the moment of conception,” to “Never – an unborn child has no right to life.”
Johnson told the crowd at Tuesday’s Rotary Club of Milwaukee campaign event that he believes the people of Wisconsin should be allowed to decide where restrictions on abortion belong.
“Nine justices on the Supreme Court couldn’t decide. I don’t think 535 members of Congress should decide, I don’t think 132 members of the Wisconsin state legislature should decide this for Wisconsin,” Johnson explained. “I think it is time, after 50 years of delayed debate, that ‘We the People’ should decide.”
Johnson said he’d like to see similar votes in all 50 states.
“I’d like to see a one-time, single-issue referendum to decide the question,” he added.
Wisconsin doesn’t allow for binding referendum questions.
In fact, Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin on Tuesday gaveled-in and gaveled-out of a special session called by Gov. Tony Evers to create a binding referendum pathway in the state’s constitution.
“On the ceiling of the Governor’s Conference Room in the Capitol is a phrase I’ve thought a lot about over the last three years: ‘the will of the people is the law of the land.’ Well, right now in Wisconsin, when it comes to reproductive freedom, the will of the people isn’t the law of the land – but it damn well should be,” the governor said in a statement after Republicans ignored his suggestion.
Johnson said abortion is a “profound moral issue,” but said it’s not an ‘either or’ issue.”
Johnson explained: “You have to balance the rights of a mother with, at some point and time, the rights of an unborn child. Let’s take the time to have the thorough, thoughtful, and compassionate discussion about what life looks like at each stage.”