Wisconsin Dem Gubernatorial Candidate: Taxpayers Should Pay for Abortions Just Like Tonsillectomies

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Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers said Tuesday that taxpayers should pay for abortions just like they pay for tonsillectomies.

Evers told the Weekly Standard in an interview that Medicaid should pay for abortions like it does for other medical procedures.

"Do you want to see Medicaid funding of abortion generally?" Weekly Standard reporter John McCormack asked.

"We need to have the Medicaid money be available for all people and restricting it because of a certain procedure, whether it's a tonsillectomy or any other procedure, seems to me a foolhardy thing to do," Evers responded.

Wisconsin is one of the 32 states whose Medicaid program prohibits tax dollars being used to fund abortions. At the federal level, it's called the Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment has been generally supported by Republicans and Democrats, until the 2016 election, where Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton advocated for its repeal.

McCormack also asked Evers about the Democratic party's growing hostility towards pro-lifers.

"One story I'm interested in is the role of pro-life Democrats: Do they have a place in the party? There've been fewer and fewer in Congress. What is your message to them?" McCormack asked.

"Yeah, we have a big tent here in Wisconsin. We have to in order to win elections," Evers said. "And yes, pro-life Democrats are welcome in the party, and I respect their decisions on this issue."

Top leaders for the Democratic party have been sending mixed signals on whether members can be pro-life. Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez released a statement last year that said being pro-choice was "non-negotiable" for Democrats. Earlier this year, pro-choice advocates tried unsuccessfully to primary the pro-life Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski (Ill.).

Evers is running against incumbent Republican Governor Scott Walker. The latest poll from Marquette University Law School shows the governors race in a dead heat with both candidates receiving 46 percent support.