Don't let women become victims

This week, the newsletter is focusing on protecting women's health and our autonomy. As you undoubtedly know, in its landmark decision Roe v Wade, decided in 1973, the US Supreme Court held that a woman has a constitutional right to choose to terminate a pregnancy, based on her right to privacy. In 1992, the court narrowed the right, ruling that after the fetus became viable, at about 24 weeks, women could no longer freely choose to terminate pregnancies. However, in that ruling, the court declared that states could not impose an "undue burden" on the right to an abortion, up to the point of fetal viability. In the intervening years, all sorts of laws to restrict the right to bodily autonomy have passed in various states and have been upheld by the courts.

Now the Supreme Court has allowed a draconian Texas law that bans all abortions after about 6 weeks (dating from the first day of a woman's last menstrual cycle) and that empowers any random citizen to sue ANYONE who helps someone obtain an abortion after a fetal heartbeat has been detected. The Texas statute introduces the novel provision that only private citizens can enforce the law. That provision became SCOTUS's rationale for declining to enjoin the law and preventing it from taking effect, as it was clearly designed to do.

The result allowed the Texas law to take effect on September 1, 2021. Similar laws are set to be replicated in a number of other states. But even if they do not enact new anti-abortion laws, laws prohibiting abortion are already on the books or even in the state constitutions in almost half the states. These laws will go into effect if Roe is overturned. The Guttmacher Institue has the relevant data:

  • 22 states have laws that could be used to restrict the legal status of abortion.
    • 8 states retain their unenforced, pre-Roe abortion bans.
    • 11 states have post-Roe laws to ban all or nearly all abortions that would be triggered if Roe were overturned.
    • 9 states have unconstitutional post-Roe restrictions that are currently blocked by courts but could be brought back into effect with a court order in Roe’s absence.
    • 7 states have laws that express the intent to restrict the right to legal abortion to the maximum extent permitted by the U.S. Supreme Court in the absence of Roe.
    • 4 states have passed a constitutional amendment explicitly declaring that their constitution does not secure or protect the right to abortion or allow use of public funds for abortion.

Wisconsin is one of the eight states that have retained an unenforced, pre-Roe abortion ban. Just look at the company we keep: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. The Wisconsin law provides an exception to protect the life of the patient (but not necessarily her health), as do some of the other unenforced laws. In Wisconsin, there would also be no exception for the victims of rape or incest.

In short, Wisconsin will become one of the states where abortion is no longer legal if Roe v Wade is overturned. Moreover, if our GOP-dominated legislature passes a vigilante law like the one SCOTUS just allowed in Texas, the only way such a statue can be prevented from going into effect here is to ensure that a Democratic governor will veto it. So — to protect women's rights, we have to make sure we accomplish two key goals:

  1. Re-elect Tony Evers next year. Grassroots North Shore will be conducting vigorous efforts on Governor Evers behalf (as well as for a number of progressive candidates for state and national offices) during 2022. Make a plan to join us by signing up to be a volunteer now.

  2. Redouble our efforts to defeat the gerrymandered electoral maps that have governed our state and federal elections for the past decade. With fairer maps in place, we will have a fighting chance to break the stranglehold the Republican Party has on our legislative elections. Join Grassroots North Shore and the Coalition for Fair Maps for a statewide program exploring how to USE OUR PEOPLE-DRIVEN POWER. Register here.

Here are two more key ACTIONS to take this week!

  • National Voter Registration Day is September 28. Get some training on assisting eligible citizens of Wisconsin to register or re-register to vote. The Wisconsin Voting Rights Coalition is providing this nonpartisan interactive workshop that will prepare volunteers to help with nonpartisan, voter registration in their community. Experienced organizers will explain best practices and specific Wisconsin voting laws. Sign up for some training here. And then sign up to phone people who have recently been purged from the voter rolls in Wisconsin. Grassroots North Shore will be holding its own orientation sessions to review how to use the Virtual Phone Bank and the script. So sign up on our website and choose an orientation and script overview session on the RSVP page.

  • Fight back against government waste and corruption, as "conservatives" were always demanding. Republicans are about to spend $680,000 to "review" the Wisconsin 2020 election. Tell you legislators you do not want your tax-payer dollars spent to re-enforce the fictitious idea that our elections are rife with fraud — that's the goal of such a "review," especially one headed by Michael Gabelman, a staunch, looney *rump supporter. Contact your WI legislators this week.

Finally, a reminder that we are hosting a wonderful, alas virtual, program on preventing gun violence. Speakers include State Assembly Representative Deb Andraca; State Senator LaTonya Johnson; Anneliese Dickson (The Brady Group); Liz Miller (Moms Demand Action); and Dr. Barbara Moser. They will discuss the obstacles to our state enacting sensible gun safety laws and how to push back. Please join us for this online forum. After you register, you will receive email with the Zoom information you will need.


Wed Sep 8, 2021

Grass Roots South Shore Virtual Meeting, 7pm - 9pm

Check the link to see if Grass Roots South Shore will have a virtual meeting. More information or call Jim Balk, 414-218-5944.

Thu Sep 9, 2021

On the Issues: MKE ThriveOn, 12:15pm - 1:15pm

Mike Gousha will speak with leaders of ThriveOn Collaboration, a new project to improve the health, equity, and economic well-being of people who live on the North Side. More information and registration.

Fighting Bob Fest/ Madison, 7pm - 8pm
Barrymore Theater, 2090 Atwood Ave., Madison

The 20th Annual Fighting Bob Fest! Presented by the Progressive Magazine, featuring local and national speakers and musicians celebrating Wisconsin’s progressive tradition! More information.

Sat Sep 11, 2021

Crisis in Cameroon, 10am - 12pm

The United Nations Association of Greater Milwaukee will present a program about genocide happening presently in Cameroon. For more information check.

Stand for Peace, 12pm - 1pm
76th Street & Layton Avenue, Milwaukee

Stand for Peace has resumed in-person events with masks and social distancing. Check for more information. Organized by Peace Action Wisconsin.

Mon Sep 13, 2021

Statewide Fair Maps Meeting, 7pm - 8:15pm

The fight for the maps has begun, and the Legislature and petitioners before the Wisconsin Supreme Court say they want as few changes to the current maps as they can get away with. What do we say? We say "NO!" we'll hear a panel discussion featuring: UW-Madison's Jordan Ellenberg, who the Daily Beast calls "America's favorite math professor" and whose new national bestseller "Shape" contains a "tour de force chapter in defense of democracy" with Wisconsin as its star; Law Forward / Stafford Rosenbaum Attorney Doug Poland, who proved at trial that the existing maps are VERY VERY BAD maps; and Director and Co-Founder of the Fair Elections Project Sachin Chheda, who will lift us up and remind us that WE HAVE POWER, and show us HOW TO USE IT. Grassroots North Shore is co-sponsoring this event. Register here.

Tue Sep 14, 2021

Drinking Liberally MKE, 6pm - 8pm
Estabrook Beer Garden, 4600 Estabrook Drive, Milwaukee

Drinking Liberally MKE will now be getting together in person on the second Tuesday of the month. (It will move to a virtual meeting if the temperature is forecast to be below 50 degrees or heavy rain is in the forecast.) To get to the Estabrook Beer Garden parking lot, enter from the north, on Hampton Ave. More information.

Drinking Liberally Grafton/Mequon, 6:30pm - 8pm
Water Street Brewery, 1251 Gateway Dr. Grafton

We're kicking off the next season of Drinking Liberally Grafton conversations Tuesday, September 14, 6:30 PM at Water Street Brewery in Grafton with the former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin James Santelle. A friend of Drinking Liberally Grafton, Jim has previously presented on the Mueller Report and other legal matters. This time Jim will drill down into the rulings of the last Supreme Court term and the impact those decisions are likely to have on elections going forward (Hint: it's not good.) Drinking Liberally Grafton is a destination to meet friends, stay up-to-date on local progressive politics and get inspired to action. Grassroots North Shore is a co-sponsor of this event. Register here.

350 Milwaukee Virtual Meeting, 7pm - 8:30pm

350 Milwaukee is part of the global organization building a grassroots movement in 188 countries to address global warming and solve the climate crisis. 350 Milwaukee usually meets every month on the second Tuesday. Check the following link for information on whether a meeting will occur. More information.

Wed Sep 15, 2021

Drinking Liberally Wauwatosa, 6:30pm - 9pm
Camp Bar Tosa 6600 W North Ave, Wauwatosa

More information.

Ozaukee County Democrats General Monthly Meeting, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
1930 Wisconsin Ave, Grafton and on Zoom

We’re back! We will meet in person at our Grafton office space (1930 Wisconsin Ave, Grafton). If you wish to attend virtually, here is the Zoom link.

Thu Sep 16, 2021

#DotheRightThingRon - lower drug prices, 4pm - 5:00pm
517 E Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee

Alliance of Retired Americans. Please join us as we demand that Ron Johnson #DotheRightThingRon and support lower drug prices for everyone! (We are requiring that everyone who attends 1) wear a mask and 2) socially distance as much as possible.)

Sat Sep 18, 2021

Stand for Peace, 12pm - 1pm

Stand for Peace has resumed in-person events with masks and social distancing. Check for more information. Organized by Peace Action Wisconsin.

Fri Sep 17, 2021

League of Women Voter Cafe, 9:30am
Online with GoToMeeting

Join League Cafe for discussion of His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope, by Jon Meacham. The book is available at Boswell. Just mention LWVMC book club to receive a 10% discount. Join the discussion here. You will need to download the GoToMeeting app.

Sun Sep 19, 2021

Let's Talk Gun Safety Solutions, 3:00pm - 5:30pm

Grassroots North Shore, together with our co-sponsors Moms Demand Action, The Brady Group, WAVE, Wisconsin Jewish Democrats, and the League of Progressive Seniors, presents experts and legislators to give us updates on why Wisconsin has been unable to pass legislation to help us reduce gun violence, what we can do about the situation, and how to protect ourselves personally in the meantime. Originally conceived as an in-person event, Grassroots North Shore has updated plans for this program: it will now be held on Zoom. FEATURED SPEAKERS: State Assembly Representative Deb Andraca; State Senator LaTonya Johnson; Anneliese Dickson (The Brady Group); Liz Miller (Moms Demand Action); and Dr. Barbara Moser. After you register, you will be sent the link to join the webinar. Register here.

MKE Dems Annual Dinner
Postponed because of the surging cases of Covid-19. The event has been rescheduled. See the RSVP page for more details.

Mon Sep 20, 2021

Milwaukee Dems Meeting, 6pm - 8pm

Milwaukee County Democrats meet monthly to discuss party business, hear speakers on current topics, pass resolutions, and network with other progressives. All interested Democrats are invited. Information about how to access the meeting will be sent after RSVP. RSVP here.

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