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Wisconsin Democratic Convention takes place in La Crosse

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Wisconsin Democrats are in La Crosse. The focus of the Wisconsin Democratic convention changed after the Supreme Court’s landmark decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

In order to retain control of the House of Representatives, Democrats will need to win several seats in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections.

One of those seats is the Third Congressional District, of which La Crosse is a part. The seat was previously held by Representative Ron Kind who announced his retirement last year.

State officials say the election will be crucial as women’s rights are at stake.

The message from today’s convention was clear.

“You know the old line about politics. If you can’t change their minds, change their face,” Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said while addressing a crowd at the convention.

Roe v. Wade is on the ballot.

“A law passed in 1849. One year after the creation of the State. We are not going back to the mid-19th century,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin.

People gathered at La Crosse Center for the 2022 state Democratic convention, but officials say the rally was not a celebration.

“Today is a dark day for our nation, and a dark time for the integrity of the highest court in the land,” Milwaukee County Executive David Crowly said.

It was a challenge.

“We know that the people of Wisconsin support full access to health care and we will fight in every seat to make sure that the people of Wisconsin know what is at stake in this election,” said Greta Neubauer, member. of the Wisconsin State Assembly.

Wisconsin GOP Chairman Paul Farrow said Roe v. Wade was unconstitutional from the start.

“50 years ago a bench of activists made a decision that was unconstitutional, so they’re fixing that,” Farrow said.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade made women second-class citizens in the country. Governor Evers says he will offer clemency to any doctor who performs an abortion.

“How many more people are going to go to jail because of an 1849 law or an 1860 law or a 1900 law. It’s ridiculous. Clemency will be offered to anyone charged and convicted,” did he declare.

Governor Evers also said an executive order to block Wisconsin’s abortion law of 1849 is on the table.

“If we decide it’s a valuable tool to do so, we’ll do it as soon as possible,” he said.

Farrow says Governor Evers only cares about one group of Wisconsinites.

“Well, with this decision, he’s telling us that he’s for his militant base and he’s going against the will of the people,” Farrow said.

Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Ben Wilker said the GOP only cares about political power.

“They’re not trying to serve the people of Wisconsin. They are trying to secure political power and control over all of our lives,” Wilker said.

Democrats at the convention say the midterm elections will be a close race and every vote will count.

Governor Evers says he is grateful to border states like Illinois and Minnesota that will continue to offer abortions to women.

AG Kaul says he will not pursue any cases under Wisconsin’s abortion ban.