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Planned Parenthood Wisconsin to resume providing abortions

Source: Tom Morris - CC BY 2.0

Planned Parenthood Wisconsin to resume providing abortions

PPWI said that the ruling by a Dane County Judge that the 1849 law did not cover consensual abortions led to them resuming abortion services.

September 14, 2023 at 01:48 PM UTC

By: Nate Wegehaupt

MADISON, Wis. (Civic Media) – Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin announced today that they will resume offering abortions starting Monday. Patients can make appointments immediately for their clinics in Madison and Milwaukee.

Abortion services ended in Wisconsin last year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade. When that happened, Wisconsin reverted back to the law on the books, a near total ban enacted in 1849. But in July of this year, a Dane County judge ruled that the law was not, in fact, an abortion ban, and did not cover consensual abortions. The judge said that the bill actually only concerned feticide. 

That case is still being heard in Dane County Court, and is expected to make its way to the state Supreme Court, which last month gained a liberal majority.

Tanya Atkinson, President and CEO of PPWI, said that their interpretation of that ruling was that they were able to once again provide abortions in Wisconsin.

Watch Atkinson’s full announcement

PPWI will operate under the abortion laws passed before Dobbs. Under Wisconsin law, abortion is banned 20 weeks after “probable fertilizations.” Women are also required to undergo an ultrasound before getting an abortion, attend a counseling appointment, and wait 24 hours. 

PPWI said that they recognize that the July ruling will not be the final decision on abortion in Wisconsin, and that access to abortion care may change in the future. 

At a press conference today, state Attorney General Josh Kaul said that this move by PPWI will not affect any ongoing litigation in the lawsuit looking to legalize abortion in Wisconsin.

Kaul speaking at a press conference Thursday

Governor Tony Evers praised the announcement today, but noted that this isn’t the end of the road for abortion access. “I will keep fighting like hell every day until Wisconsinites have the right to make their own healthcare decisions without interference from politicians who don’t know anything about their lives, their family, or their circumstances,” Evers said.

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