Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin to resume abortion care

September 15, 2023

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI) announced that it’s set to resume abortion care on Monday at clinics in Madison and Milwaukee, following a recent court decision. 

In a video statement PPWI president and CEO Tanya Atkinson said that when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade in June 2022, her organization “made the agonizing decision to suspend abortion services in order to protect the physicians and staff who care for patients and communities, to protect those providers from being prosecuted under an archaic Wisconsin law criminalizing abortion care.”

Atkinson pointed to the “uncertainty about the enforceability of Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion law” in making that decision to pause services at PPWI.

Noting the success of a lawsuit that was filed by Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul (R) in Dane County days after Roe v Wade was overturned, seeking to repeal the ban, Atkinson said, “With the recent confirmation from the court that there is not an enforceable abortion ban in Wisconsin, our staff can now provide the full scope of sexual and reproductive healthcare to anyone in Wisconsin who needs it, no matter what.”

Kaul had argued that the 1849 ban was too old to enforce, and that a 1985 law that permits abortions before a fetus can survive outside the womb supersedes the ban.

Dane County Circuit Judge Diane Schlipper ruled in June that the 1849 law does outlaw the killing of fetuses, but it doesn’t apply to consensual medical abortions. She added that the language in the 173-year-old law doesn’t use the term “abortion” and thus only applies to attacking a pregnant person in an attempt to kill the fetus.

Since PPWI paused its services, Planned Parenthood clinics in Illinois, where abortion has remained widely available, have seen a reported seven-fold increase of patients from Wisconsin. 

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