Enforcing a potential abortion ban in Wisconsin

We heard from people on both sides.
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 9:32 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Abortion remains legal today, but if the Supreme Court does deliver a final opinion that overturns Roe v. Wade, Wisconsin’s 1849 ban on abortion would take effect.

The only exception would be in cases when the mother’s life is in danger.

Wisconsin Right to Life said the state would be “powerfully positioned” to defend life in the Supreme court draft becomes the rule of the land.

“We believe it is a human life that must be protected regardless of the circumstances,” Gracie Skogman said.

Attorney General Josh Kaul said his agency would not commit resources to enforcing an abortion ban... and he encourages DAs and law enforcement to do the same.

“It’s my view that we have problems that we need our law enforcement to be dealing with, like violent crimes, drug trafficking. And we don’t need to shift their focus from those important efforts to going after people for allegedly violating a ban that nobody had understood to be enforceable for almost 50 years,” Kaul explained.

His Republican opponent, Fond du Lac District Attorney Eric Toney, said his DOJ would operate the exact opposite way.

“This is and always should have been a state issue. I am pro-life and I will enforce and defend the laws as passed by the legislature and signed into law,” Toney said in a statement.

AG Josh Kaul said if abortion became a crime, the DOJ would not commit resources to enforce it.

Right now abortions are only available at Planned Parenthood clinics in Sheboygan, Milwaukee and Madison.

Planned Parenthood said it would halt all abortion services if Roe v. Wade were overturned, but would work to ensure women receive reproductive health care elsewhere.

Tanya Atkinson with Planned Parenthood said, “Regardless of what the final decision at the Supreme Court we will make sure people get safely to another state that respects people’s ability to make their own health care decisions.”

In 2020, officials in Illinois said nearly 10 thousand women traveled from out of state for an abortion.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker already commented, “Abortion is safe and legal in Illinois.”

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