Fond du Lac District Attorney Eric Toney, the Republican nominee for Wisconsin Attorney General, refused to rule out using state resources to prosecute doctors for providing abortions,  even in cases of rape or incest, in an interview that aired this week.

Wisconsin is currently operating under an 1849 law banning all abortions – without exceptions for rape or incest – unless the life of the mother is in danger. That law had been dormant since the 1973 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark Roe v. Wade case.

Earlier this year, the high court overturned Roe. In the wake of that decision incumbent Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul declared that the Department of Justice would not devote state resources to prosecuting doctors for providing abortion care. 

Toney is only the latest Republican candidate to stake out a position on the issue of abortion well outside the mainstream of Wisconsin voters. Republican nominee for Governor Tim Michels has said his position on abortion is an “exact mirror” of the 1849 law. Incumbent Republican Senator Ron Johnson has co-sponsored national abortion bans that do not provide exemptions for rape or incest. 

According to a September survey by the Marquette University Law School, 63% of Wisconsinites opposed overturning Roe and 83% support exceptions for cases of rape or incest, including 70% of Republican voters.