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Planned Parenthood resumes abortions in Wisconsin

In this photo, Madison South Health Center is owned and operated by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.

Kevin Wang | P.A.

Planned Parenthood will resume performing abortions in Wisconsin next week, after a state court ruled that a 174-year-old criminal law does not prohibit the procedure.

Abortion services will resume Monday at Planned Parenthood clinics in Milwaukee and Madison, according to a statement released Thursday by the organization’s Wisconsin chapter. Patients can begin making appointments on Thursday, according to the release.

“In consultation with attorneys, doctors, partners and stakeholders, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin is confident in our decision to resume abortion care in Wisconsin,” Tanya Atkinson, CEO of Planned Parenthood Wisconsin, said Thursday. in a video statement.

Planned Parenthood temporarily suspended abortion services in Wisconsin on the same day the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade of 1973, which for nearly 50 years had protected the procedure as a constitutional right.

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The Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision to strike down federal constitutional protections for abortion raised uncertainty in Wisconsin over whether providers could be prosecuted under an 1849 law that criminalized the procedure as manslaughter.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and state Attorney General Josh Kaul, both Democrats, filed a lawsuit challenging the 1849 penal law. A state judge ruled in July that the old law of 174 does not ban consensual medical abortions, but rather targets anyone who kills a fetus by attacking the mother.

“This pre-Roe law says nothing about abortion – there is no 1849 abortion ban in Wisconsin,” Dane County Circuit Court Judge Diane Schlipper wrote in her July ruling denying a petition filed by a county attorney seeking the abortion. dismiss the case.

Litigation over the 1849 law is ongoing and will likely reach the state Supreme Court, where liberals now have a 4-3 majority after Janet Protasiewicz won a seat on the bench in April.

In March, Democrats in the Wisconsin state legislature introduced a bill to repeal the 1849 Prohibition. Republicans have majorities in both legislative chambers.

Correction: Tanya Atkinson is CEO of Planned Parenthood Wisconsin. An earlier version misspelled his name.

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