Evers says he'll offer clemency to doctors charged under abortion law and Maria's Pizza closes on the southwest side

Customers wait in line at Maria's Pizza on June 25, 2022, one day before the restaurant closed. Brian Francis took over ownership of the business in September and hopes to reopen it by the middle of February.
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Gov. Tony Evers vows to offer doctors clemency if they are prosecuted under the state's 1849 abortion law

  • Gov. Tony Evers declared over the weekend that if doctors are prosecuted under Wisconsin's 1849 abortion law he'll offer them clemency. Evers made his announcement during a rally at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin convention, an event being held in the shadow of Friday's U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case on abortion.

  • "The 1849 law says that anybody providing an abortion is subject to a felony, one to six years," Evers said. "Did you ever think about the word clemency? I will provide clemency to any physician that is charged under that law."

  • "I don’t think that a law that was written before the Civil War, or before women secured the right to vote, should be used to dictate these intimate decisions on reproductive health," Evers said.

Maria's Pizza on Milwaukee's southwest side closed Sunday but a new owner might reopen it

  • "It's time for us to take a breath," Bonnie Crivello said by phone Sunday. She owns it with her niece Maria Story. "We have a lot of nice customers. We love them and everything else, but right now we want to rest," she said, as phones rang nonstop in the background.

  • Crivello is the daughter of founder Maria Traxel, who opened the restaurant in 1957 on Seventh Street near Greenfield Avenue. Story was born the same year the restaurant opened; her mother, Mickey Story, operated the restaurant with Crivello until Mickey Story's passing in 2006. Maria's moved to Forest Home in 1971, taking its brick ovens and paint-by-number religious art with it. It also continued its no-alcohol and cash-only policies on the southwest side.

  • In the deluge of customers on Sunday, its last day, Maria's Pizza ran out of dough and cheese around 6 p.m., about two hours ahead of its closing time. This, in spite of the handwritten sign on a cardboard pizza round that limited customers to two pizzas each. The restaurant also sold out of its T-shirts, as customers apparently wanted a souvenir that would last longer than dinner.

  • Crivello indicated a potential buyer for the restaurant and its recipes is in the wings, so Maria's might be closed only temporarily. "We want somebody who knows how to do it," she said.

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Evers says he'll offer clemency to doctors charged under abortion law