[Above: The “Bigger Than Roe” protests in Madison, Wisconsin, January 22, 2023 — eds.]
When the SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade, Wisconsin immediately reverted to an abortion ban law that was written in 1849. The only exception to the ban was if the life of the mother was in danger.
However, in July of this year, a Wisconsin judge, who was hearing a case regarding the abortion ban, ruled that the 1849 law doesn’t actually deal with abortions:
The judge also signaled she did not believe the law in question, a statute written in 1849, applies to abortions but to feticide.
“There is no such thing as an ‘1849 Abortion Ban’ in Wisconsin. A physician who performs a consensual medical abortion commits a crime only ‘after the fetus or unborn child reaches viability …'” she wrote, explicitly adding the law does not prohibit consensual medical abortions.
Planned Parenthood had their lawyers study the situation and after careful consideration, decided to resume providing services in Wisconsin, while acknowledging that this could change in the future:
Abortions will resume at Planned Parenthood clinics in Milwaukee and Madison on Monday. Patients can schedule appointments online or via phone starting Thursday, Atkinson told reporters during a media briefing.
The clinics will not immediately return to their pre-Dobbs capacities, said Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin associate medical director Dr. Allison Linton, but will continue to work to expand access in the coming weeks. That includes a goal of eventually resuming services at Planned Parenthood’s Sheboygan clinic, she said.
“We were really deliberate in making sure we did not resume services until we could commit to providing consistent availability,” Linton told reporters, adding that the decision was made in consultation with attorneys and physicians.
Planned Parenthood will operate under the state’s pre-Dobbs abortion laws, under which abortion is banned 20 weeks after “probable fertilization.” Women are required to undergo an ultrasound before an abortion, along with a counseling appointment and a 24-hour waiting period. In the case of medication abortions, the doctor who administers the pills must be the same one the woman saw for her counseling appointment, and the pills cannot be taken remotely via telemedicine.
Michelle Velasquez, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin director of legal advocacy and services, acknowledged that the most recent court order is not a final ruling, and it’s possible things will change in the future.
“We’ll have to take things as they come, but we are confident in our analysis and we are ready to provide this essential care again, because there is really, in our view, not a reason to wait any longer,” Velasquez said.
As the gentle reader could imagine, progressives cheered the news while the fascists who feel they know best what women should or shouldn’t do with their bodies called it “a devastating day.”