Gov. Evers pushes to end Wisconsin’s 172-year-old abortion ban

Gov. Evers and other officials speak on behalf of Roe v. Wade.
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 9:32 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Days before the 49th anniversary of the decision in Roe v. Wade, Gov. Tony Evers and other Wisconsin officials met to push support for a bill that would defend reproductive healthcare access.

Evers, Attorney General Josh Kaul, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin and others are advocating for Senate Bill 72, which would repeal a 172-year-old abortion ban. Officials note this is currently unenforceable due to the decision in the landmark case, but say reproductive healthcare in Wisconsin is under “dire attack” given the Supreme court’s anticipated ruling this year.

The SCOTUS heard oral arguments last month regarding a Mississippi law that prohibits abortion at 15 weeks with exceptions for rape or incest, which officials point to as a direct conflict with Roe v. Wade.

If the court overturns Roe v. Wade, Wisconsin’s criminal statues could go back into effect unless the law is repealed before then.

“If Roe v. Wade is overturned, Wisconsin could turn back the clock 50 years on reproductive healthcare access,” said Gov. Evers. “We cannot and should not go backwards. And frankly, folks have gotten too comfortable relying on the Court to protect access to reproductive healthcare and allowing them to decide whether the people we care about in Wisconsin—our family members, friends, and neighbors—are able to access the care they need. "

President of Planned Parenthood Advocates of WI Tanya Atkinson called on the Legislature to appeal the law.

“We are witnessing is the greatest threat to abortion access in nearly 50 years that could impact nearly 1.3 million women of reproductive age in Wisconsin,” Atkinson said. “With the Supreme Court deliberating a case that could overturn Roe, this is a wakeup call to come together to protect and support our friends and family members’ ability to decide if or when they become a parent.”

A decision from the court is expected this summer.

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