Nearly all abortions are now illegal in Wisconsin.
The U.S. Supreme Court released a decision Friday overturning Roe v. Wade. The landmark case made abortion a constitutional right within the first two trimesters of a pregnancy — when a fetus is unable to survive outside the womb. Now the legality of the health care procedure is up to states.
In Wisconsin, the state's 173-year-old abortion ban is once again the law of the land, making the procedure illegal unless deemed medically necessary to save the patient's life. Providing an abortion is now a felony punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Shortly after the ruling was released, Tanya Atkinson, president & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, shared a video message saying the agency had been immediately forced to suspend abortion services.
"Today, our daughters have less rights than their mothers, less rights than their grandmothers," she said in the video. "This is absolutely unconscionable. People should be able to make their own health care decisions, it should not be political."
Nearly 70 abortion procedures with Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin scheduled for Friday and Saturday had to be canceled, the agency's Medical Director Kathy King told the Associated Press. The group helped patients book appointments in nearby states where the procedure remains legal.
Lucy Marshall, president of Women's Medical Fund in Madison, said no clinics in Wisconsin are providing abortion care as of Friday morning. But her group has laid the groundwork for partnerships with organizations in Illinois and Minnesota where abortions are still legal under state law. Those partnerships will help with financial assistance for things like travel, lodging and child care for people traveling out of state.
Women's Medical Fund is also working closely with Pregnancy Options Wisconsin, or POWERS, a group of volunteer doctors, midwives, doulas and educators who have a hotline and website where people can ask questions and be connected to resources.
She said Friday’s court decision is a devastating blow to reproductive autonomy for people in Wisconsin and across the country. But her organization and other abortion rights advocates are not giving up the fight.
"WMF has been here since before Roe v. Wade and we are here after. We are not going anywhere," Marshall said. "We're committed to ensuring that anyone who needs an abortion has access to that no matter their income or zipcode."
For social conservatives, the decision represents a historic victory in a decades-long battle. The Brookfield-based Pro-Life Wisconsin in a statement celebrated the overturning of the "egregious" Roe v. Wade decision.
"Today is a day many pro-life individuals have dreamt of for decades, if not entire lifetimes," the group said.
"We have longed for the day when no more babies die and no more mothers cry," state director Dan Miller said. "Nothing will stand in our way to see that abortion ends in Wisconsin!"
Protests against the Supreme Court decision are being planned in both Madison and Milwaukee Friday evening.
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said Friday that the decision takes "us backwards almost 50 years."