On September 19, Reproaction lead an informational picket outside of Colectivo Coffee and Milwaukee’s Public Market in the Historic Third Ward. We took direct action to educate Milwaukeeans about the dangers of the Unborn Child Protection Act (Act 292), which allows Wisconsin to accuse certain women of “unborn child abuse.” Under this law, the state can take certain pregnant women into custody, appoint a lawyer for her embryo or fetus, and lock the woman up in a drug treatment program, mental hospital, or jail – whether or not drug treatment is really needed.
Colectivo Coffee is a popular specialty coffee roaster and cafe in Milwaukee, and we chose this location because every Wisconsinite should be concerned by continued enforcement of Act 292. Notably, Milwaukee County had the highest rate of cases referred to the state under Act 292 in 2016. Laws like Act 292 have implications for everyone, including pregnant women and children in Milwaukee County and across the state. We know that Act 292 is reproductive oppression, and this law is dangerous for all pregnant people.
I stood outside of Colectivo Coffee for about 30 minutes and distributed 10 flyers to people walking by and entering the coffee shop. Following this, I crossed the street and picketed outside of the famous Milwaukee Public Market for the remainder of the hour. In front of the Public Market, I ran out of flyers before the hour was up. Many people seemed interested in what I was handing out, and a handful of people approached me to ask for a flyer. After reading the flyer, people seemed confused and shocked, and a handful actually stopped in their tracks while reading the flyer.
Every Wisconsinite should be concerned about Act 292. This is not someone else’s problem. When pregnant women are denied their human rights, communities suffer.