The U.S. Supreme Court decision today overturning Roe v Wade has triggered Wisconsin’s 1849 law criminalizing most abortions.
The decision means Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin will have to stop performing abortions immediately due to today’s SCOTUS ruling. The abortion rights group last week told WisPolitics.com said it would not schedule any abortions after June 25.
Dem AG Josh Kaul has said he won’t devote any Department of Justice resources enforcing Wisconsin’s 1849 law. It criminalizes most abortions as a Class H felony. That 173-year-old law now takes effect in Wisconsin since protections in Roe v Wade were overturned, most legal experts say, although it is likely to be challenged in court.
According to a report from the Legislative Reference Bureau, the original ban applied to abortions after the time the fetus could be felt moving in the womb, but an 1858 change effectively banned abortion at any stage of gestation.
Wisconsin’s abortion ban includes an exception to protect the life of the mother, but no exceptions for rape or incest.
Gov. Tony Evers in a statement called the court’s ruling “absolutely disastrous and unconscionable.”
“This is an unfathomably grim day for our state and our country. I am heartbroken — for the millions of Wisconsinites and Americans the U.S. Supreme Court has abandoned and for our country and our democratic institution,” the guv said.
Evers vowed to keep fighting for abortion rights.
“We will fight this decision in every way we can with every power we have,” Evers said. “As people in Wisconsin and across our country make their voices heard in the days and months ahead, we will do so peacefully and without violence.”
Republican leaders praised the decision.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos urged those who disagree with the court’s ruling to “remain peaceful.”
“Safeguarding the lives of unborn children shouldn’t be controversial. Today’s decision reaffirms their lives are precious and worthy of protection,” the Rochester Republican said.
Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu in a statement called the decision a “massive victory for the sanctity of life.”
“The surge of violence and on-going threats by pro-abortion extremists will not intimidate or deter us from upholding every individual’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” the Oostburg Republican said.
Meanwhile, Assembly Minority Leader Greta Neubauer slammed Republicans for not taking up the session Evers had called to repeal the state’s abortion ban. Republicans quickly gaveled out of session in both chambers on Wednesday.
“Republican’s unwillingness to act is inexcusable, and they will be directly responsible for the negative outcomes of this decision,” the Racine Dem said. “The Supreme Court’s decision to throw out historically enshrined protections and the GOP’s inaction will have significant consequences for our friends, families, neighbors, and communities.”
Neubauer said the decision would not mean the end of the fight for abortion access.
Wisconsin’s Republican members of Congress praised the decision as a victory for the anti-abortion movement.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson called the decision a “victory for life.”
“This decision will now allow that democratic process to unfold in each state to determine at what point does society have the responsibility to protect life,” the Oshkosh Republican said. “Hopefully, the debate will be conducted with sincerity, compassion, and respect for the broad range of views that people hold.”
Meanwhile, Dems decried the ruling.
U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin rebuked Republicans for not supporting abortion rights, referencing the state’s abortion ban.
“Republicans have taken Wisconsin women back to 1849 and it is Republicans who want to keep us there with support for having politicians interfere in the freedoms of women who will now have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers have had for decades,” the Madison Dem said.
Baldwin urged people to “join this fight with their voices and their votes.”
See more reaction at the WisPolitics.com press release page.