Planned Parenthood Wisconsin announced it would resume providing abortion care a year after stopping following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe V Wade.
The organization, which is the state’s largest provider of abortions, made the announcement Thursday, a little more than a year after the state’s 19th-century ban came back into effect.
The statewide ban on abortion in effect in 1849 made the procedure illegal unless necessary to save a mother’s life, but a Dane County judge ruled in July that the law did not apply to consensual abortions.
“With patients and the community being our central priority and driving force, we look forward to resuming abortion services and providing this essential care to the people of our state,” said Planned Parenthood President Tanya Atkinson.
She added: “Abortion is health care. Wisconsinites have been deprived of this essential and necessary care for more than a year due to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe V. Wade.
Planned Parenthood Wisconsin announced it would resume providing abortion care a year after it was shut down following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe V Wade.
The organization, which is the state’s largest abortion provider, made the announcement Thursday, a little more than a year after the state’s 19th-century ban came back into effect (protesters pro-choice seen above).
“When Roe was overturned, Planned Parenthood Wisconsin made the heartbreaking decision to suspend abortion services in order to protect the doctors and staff who care for patients and communities, to protect these providers from the threat of being prosecuted under an archaic Wisconsin law criminalizing abortion care.’
Planned Parenthood will begin offering the procedure starting Monday, September 18 at its clinics in Milwaukee and Madison.
Dane County Circuit Judge Diane Schlipper ruled in June that Wisconsin’s 173-year-old abortion ban prohibits killing fetuses but does not apply to consensual medication abortions. Her decision, a victory for those fighting the ban, indicates that the legal language of the 1849 law does not use the term “abortion,” so it only prohibits attacking a woman with the aim of killing her child to be born.
Doctors in Wisconsin immediately stopped performing abortions after Roe V. Wade was overturned in June 2022, turning away women in waiting rooms and calling to cancel pending appointments.
The resumption of abortions comes as the lawsuit challenging the state law continues in county court. That decision is expected to ultimately make its way to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which shifted to liberal control in August.
Wisconsin Democrats, including Gov. Tony Evers, have used abortion access as a central goal of their 2022 reelection bid.
Wisconsin doctors immediately stopped performing abortions after Roe V. Wade was overturned in June 2022
“This is critically important news for Wisconsin women and patients across our state who, for a year now, have been unable to access the health care they need, when and where they need it,” Evers said in a statement.
Julaine Appling, president of the anti-abortion group Wisconsin Family Action, called the move “bold” and said the abortion ban remains in place.
“No court has found this measure unenforceable,” Appling said. “In most cases, it is still illegal for anyone to perform an abortion in Wisconsin. So what the governor and Planned Parenthood are doing is promoting illegal activity.
“Unfortunately, this illegal activity takes lives because it is the intentional killing of an unborn child.”
Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul filed a lawsuit in Dane County days after Roe V. Wade was overturned, seeking to repeal the ban.
Kaul argues that the ban is too old to be enforced and that a 1985 law allowing abortions before a fetus can survive outside the womb supersedes the ban.
Three doctors later joined the lawsuit as plaintiffs, saying they feared being sued for performing abortions.
Democratic Wisconsin Senate Minority Leader Melissa Agard echoed comments from other Democrats who welcomed the decision, but said “we have a tremendous amount of work to do here in Wisconsin to ensure that the right women’s choice is protected and codified in perpetuity.
Last July, a Wisconsin woman claimed she was left to bleed for ten days following an incomplete miscarriage caused by doctors who enforced the 1849 ban.
Carley Zeal, a gynecologist at Mercyhealth Cancer Center in southern Wisconsin, gave him medication to expel fetal tissue.
Because the medication needed to end a miscarriage is similar to that used to end a pregnancy, doctors said they were unsure whether to distribute it after Roe.
Zeal told the Washington Post: “It really delayed his care.
“I saw her again a week and a half later with a miscarriage and continued bleeding, increasing the risk of serious bleeding as well as infections.”