From June 6 through June 9, Milwaukee held its annual PrideFest. Milwaukee PrideFest is one of the largest festivals in Milwaukee, and is the largest PrideFest celebration with permanent festival grounds in the world. I took action on Thursday, June 6, outside of PrideFest to distribute Act 292 informational flyers and share information about the threat enforcement of this law poses to all Wisconsinites.
The Unborn Child Protection Act, otherwise known as Act 292 or the “cocaine mom law” allows Wisconsin to take certain pregnant people into custody, assign a lawyer to the embryo or fetus but no lawyer for the pregnant person during the proceeding, including at important early stages, and lock the person up in a drug treatment program, psychiatric hospital, or even jail – regardless of whether drug treatment is really needed. Wisconsin has investigated thousands of women for “unborn child abuse” under Act 292. A federal court ruled the law unconstitutional in 2017, but it was kept in place due to the efforts of former Governor Scott Walker and former Attorney General Brad Schimel.
I took action outside of PrideFest to hand out informational flyers about Act 292 in Wisconsin. In total, I gave out approximately 25 flyers and talked to nearly a dozen people about the danger that Act 292 imposes to all Wisconsin residents. The people I spoke with were shocked; many did not know about the existence of Act 292 until I told them about it. They were even more shocked when I told them that this law is the only one like it in the country, and this law potentially could make people not want to go to their doctors for prenatal care or even drug treatment. Many of the folks I talked to took extra flyers and shared them with friends as they entered PrideFest.
We chose to picket at Milwaukee PrideFest because reaching all communities impacted by continued enforcement of Act 29 is an incredibly important aspect of the #WIFights292 campaign. Reproaction knows that not all people who experience pregnancy are women or straight, so it is critical that we distribute information about Act 292 to LGBTQ people and their family and friends. Some members of the LGBTQ community experience higher levels of policing, and therefore are more likely to be accused of so-called unborn child abuse under Act 292. In distributing information at PrideFest, Reproaction hopes to spread information far and wide about the dangers of Act 292, and the threat it poses to all Wisconsin communities.
Reproaction will continue to fight for justice and put pressure on Gov. Evers and his entire administration to direct all counties to immediately stop enforcing Act 292.