By Rep. Barbara Dittrich (R-Oconomowoc) and Sen. Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point)

Earlier this year, we authored a bill that sought to end the practice of discriminatory abortion. The Shield the Vulnerable Act would have protected children targeted on the basis of gender, race, or disability. The bill passed the Assembly and Senate, and needed only the governor’s signature to become law.

Governor Tony Evers had the chance to connect the dots last week; instead, he picked up his veto pen and scribbled outside the lines of reason and decency.

This veto came only 15 days after the governor addressed these words to Special Olympics athletes:

“…As governor, I’ve reaffirmed my commitment to making Wisconsin a place where every resident, regardless of ability, feels included and respected.”

We gave him the opportunity to back up his words with actions, but when given the chance, Evers had only talk. He couldn’t walk the walk – and that’s disappointing.

As we fight to end discrimination and ensure equal opportunity, we cannot leave behind the most vulnerable among us. We must affirm our commitment to equality, and adhere to our nation’s founding principal – that we are all entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The fulfillment of the American idea is a journey – a journey that we’ve been on for nearly two and a half centuries. We’ve come a long way – but when a child’s life can be ended because of their appearance, their gender, or their abilities – it’s more proof that we’re not there yet.

Despite this setback, we must continue to move forward on our journey toward fulfilling America’s promise.

We seek justice – for all to be included and respected regardless of their characteristics and regardless of ability, because inclusion and respect have no start date, and they have no expiration date.

Sen. Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) represents the 24th Senate District.

Rep. Barbara Dittrich (R-Oconomowoc) represents the 38th Assembly District.

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