Planned Parenthood resumes abortion services Monday in Milwaukee, Madison

Both sides on abortion ruling that resumes services in Wisconsin Monday September 18, 2023.
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 10:27 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 18, 2023 at 6:21 PM CDT
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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WBAY) - Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin announced it’s resuming abortions at two of its clinics Monday during challenges of the state’s abortion ban.

Planned Parenthood president/CEO Tanya Atkinson says a court ruling said Wisconsin’s ban is not enforceable. The ruling in July said a lawsuit challenging the state’s 174-year-old abortion law could continue. In her ruling, a Dane County judge said that law made killing fetuses by battering the mother illegal but did not prohibit consensual abortion services.

Abortion services will be offered starting Sept. 18 at Planned Parenthood’s Water Street Health Center in Milwaukee and Madison East Health Center.

Planned Parenthood suspended abortions in June 2022 after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade while waiting for clarification on Wisconsin’s law.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul filed a lawsuit in 2022 challenging the state’s abortion ban. He argues the 1874 law and other state laws meant to supersede it are in conflict.

These include a law passed in 1970, before Roe v. Wade was the law of the land, that made Wisconsin’s abortion ban illegal, and another law passed in 1985 that only prohibits abortions after a fetus has developed enough to survive outside the womb.

Three doctors who care for pregnant women joined Kaul’s lawsuit as plaintiffs, saying they’re afraid they would be prosecuted if they performed an abortion.

Regardless of how the Dane County court eventually rules, the lawsuit is expected to be appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which has a liberal majority for the first time in 15 years.

Gov. Evers hailed Planned Parenthood’s decision in a statement. “This is critically important news for Wisconsin women and patients across our state who, for a year now, have been unable to access the healthcare they need when and where they need it.”

“We believe everybody deserves access to high quality, affordable, nonjudgmental health care, including abortion,” Vice President of Patient Services Amy Doczy wrote in a separate statement. “Abortion is healthcare, and we are eager to resume providing this essential care for Wisconsinites.”

The decision does not involve other Planned Parenthood clinics in Wisconsin, which provide other health services, including birth control, pregnancy services, and cancer screenings and pelvic exams.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin announced it’s resuming abortions at two of its clinics next week during challenges of the state’s abortion ban.