Wisconsin GOP governor candidate on Roe v. Wade: 'I pray that it will be' overturned


Kevin Nicholson told supporters, 'How about we take every last cent that finds its way in the state of Wisconsin to Planned Parenthood, and we immediately reroute that money to pregnancy crisis centers.'

At a "Pints and Politics" event hosted by the Republican Party in Dane County, Wisconsin, Republican candidate for governor Kevin Nicholson doubled down on his anti-abortion stance.

Audio files obtained by the American Independent Foundation reveal that Nicholson told the crowd at the GOP event that the leak on May 2 of a Supreme Court draft decision in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which could result in the overturning of the ruling in Roe v. Wade that affirmed a federal right to abortion, was the work of someone trying to "sabotage the decision." 

"What we're seeing here," he said, "is that Roe v. Wade may be overturned. And I pray that it will be."

Nicholson told his audience that at the organization No Better Friend Corp., which he founded in 2018, he had worked with crisis pregnancy centers across the state to "protect innocent life." One of the ideas that he had taken from that experience, he said, was "How about we take every last cent that finds its way in the state of Wisconsin to Planned Parenthood, and we immediately reroute that money to pregnancy crisis centers. And it can be done as governor. I'll assure it's done. And that's what we need, that urgency."

Although Nicholson is a former president of the College Democrats and gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2000 in which he asserted, "We care about a woman's right to choose," he has shifted his positions since then. No Better Friend Corp., the conservative advocacy group he founded and led, focuses on dissuading people from having abortions by directing them to so-called "crisis pregnancy centers." The Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health says that such centers mislead people about their options for handling a pregnancy and often provide medically inaccurate information.

Choose Life Wisconsin lists dozens of CPCs in Wisconsin, whereas there are only four abortion clinics in the state.

After an unsuccessful primary bid for the Republican nomination to run for the Senate seat won by incumbent Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin in 2018, Nicholson is now among the top four candidates in the Republican primary for governor. 

Wisconsin is one of nine states that have "trigger bans," laws banning abortion that would automatically take effect if Roe were overturned. Wisconsin’s ban makes providing an abortion a felony punishable by a fine of $10,000 or up to six years in prison. 

A Marquette Law School poll conducted in April found Nicholson in second place among likely Republican primary voters, behind Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. Both Kleefisch and Nicholson, along with the other two leading candidates, Tim Michels and Tim Ramthun, support an abortion ban with no exceptions in cases of rape or incest. 

Nicholson's comments at the "Pints and Politics" event also repeated a list of common Republican talking points. They included painting a dire picture of the state of law and order in Wisconsin; supporting efforts to extirpate so-called critical race theory from Wisconsin schools; pushing a need for electoral reform due to supposed fraud; and criticizing Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers' public health policies for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.