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Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Alexis McGill Johnson: “We won’t back down. We are building power to make sure people keep their freedoms.”

MIDDLETON, Wis.— Today, hundreds of Planned Parenthood Action Fund members rallied together in support of reproductive rights, along with special guests including Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Alexis McGill Johnson, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin President Tanya Atkinson, U.S. Senate candidate Mandela Barnes, Governor Tony Evers, Attorney General Josh Kaul, Lieutenant Governor candidate Sara Rodriguez, and Madeline Stone-Kutis, a Wisconsin abortion storyteller, among others. Throughout the event, they detailed what is at stake this election in Wisconsin and nationwide when it comes to protecting reproductive rights, including abortion access.

Must provide photo credit as: Ben Brewer courtesy of Planned Parenthood Action Fund


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Nationwide, the legal landscape of abortion access changes constantly. Abortion bans have eliminated all or some abortions in 17 states. Wisconsin’s 1849 ban has effectively outlawed abortion. The consequences of abortion bans continue to fall disproportionately on Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, LGBTQ+ communities, people with low incomes, and people living in rural areas. That means in states with abortion bans or significant restrictions, people are forced to remain pregnant or, if they can afford it, travel hundreds — and sometimes thousands — of miles out of state to access abortion care. 

Abortion bans do not only affect people living in states with restrictions. As people seek care outside of their state, people who can afford to may travel hundreds or thousands of miles to access care, adding pressure on neighboring health care systems and potentially increasing wait times for vital, time-sensitive services.

Excerpt of remarks from Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“Abortion is on the ballot. Freedom is on the ballot. We won’t back down. And that’s why we have to keep Governor Evers in office, why we have to bring Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes to the Senate, and why we have to bring all these champions into elected office so that we can stay free.” 

Excerpt of remarks from Mandela Barnes, candidate for U. S Senator from Wisconsin:

“We have politicians in office who think it’s their responsibility to make our health care decisions…any politician who thinks they get to make that choice doesn’t belong in office. We can expand the majority in the Senate…and we can codify and protect abortion access once and for all.”

Excerpt of remarks from Governor Evers:

“When Dobbs came down, the first thing I thought of was my seven granddaughters – they became second class citizens overnight. That is bullshit. I have vetoed every abortion ban that has come to my desk. We cannot take one thing for granted this November.”

Excerpt of remarks from Attorney General Kaul:

“The stakes could not be bigger. Reproductive freedom is on the ballot. We have an opportunity to send a message from right here in Madison, Wisconsin, and across the country, about how important it is to have elected officials who will protect our freedoms, not take them away.”

Excerpt of remarks from Sara Rodriguez, candidate for Lieutenant Governor:

“As a nurse and as a mother by choice…I know that the decision to continue on with a pregnancy should be left to the patient, their doctor, their family, and their faith – not politicians. I will not be quiet…Abortion is on the ballot this November. Governor Evers and I will fight like hell to make sure that every person has access to reproductive health without the interference of politicians.”

Excerpt of remarks from Tanya Atkinson, president of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin:

“The majority of Wisconsinites support abortion access. You should be able to have access to abortion when you need one…The same legislators who made the decision for the entire state to keep an abortion ban on the books are the same legislators who introduced bills blocking access to contraception. They will use our bodies to continue to gain power.”

Excerpt of remarks from Madeline Stone-Kutis, a Wisconsin abortion storyteller:

“One thing I never doubted was my abortion…Even before Dobbs changed the landscape for abortion access in Wisconsin, there was a 24 hour waiting period I would have to endure. Appointments in-state were booked out for weeks. This was time I would spend being pregnant against my will because my state didn’t trust my decision with my body. Abortion access affects us all… it allows us to live more equal lives.”


Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy, and limited electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.