Sheboygan County D.A. advises law enforcement he’ll prosecute abortion cases

scales of justice
scales of justice(WCAX)
Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 11:33 AM CDT
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SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (WBAY) - Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, the Sheboygan County district attorney says he would prosecute those who carry out abortions, under Wisconsin’s 1849 law that bans nearly all of them.

Sheboygan County has one of the four clinics that perform abortions in Wisconsin. All of the clinics stopped performing them after the Supreme Court ruling last week.

Sheboygan County D.A. Joel Urmanski says he’s talked with local law enforcement officials about his intention to prosecute any violations of the law, though he’s not sure if police would investigate those reports.

“Our job as prosecutors, in my opinion, is we’re upholding the law. We’re not legislators. We’re not passing laws, we’re not voting on laws, we’re enforcing those laws and I’m not going to go out there and say go ahead and commit this crime, do this, do that. It’s not how I feel about the law. It’s not my intentions or thoughts about any particular law. We enforce that law,” Urmanski said.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul says, “We clearly have a different view about our roles. Prosecutors have a lot of discretion. We make decisions day in and day out about how most effectively to use limited resources. And it’s my view that enforcing this abortion ban is going to harm Wisconsinites.

Kaul filed a lawsuit challenging the 1849 law, saying other statutes passed since then are in conflict with it, including a law in 1970, before Roe v Wade, that determined the state’s abortion ban is illegal and legislation in 1985 that prohibits abortions only after a fetus has grown enough to survive outside the womb.

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