Planned Parenthood began offering abortion services again in Wisconsin on Monday after stopping for more than a year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Planned Parenthood halted service in June 2022, saying the possibility that providers could be prosecuted was too high due to uncertainty over whether a Wisconsin state law banning most abortions could be enforced.
But the organization said the potential risk of prosecution has decreased due to a ruling in June by a Dane County circuit court judge who said the state law doesn't apply to consensual abortions. Planned Parenthood resumed abortion services at clinics in Milwaukee and Madison, located in counties where district attorneys have said they would not enforce the law.
"This is a really important first step, but it is just that — a first step," Michelle Velasquez, director of legal advocacy and services at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, told The Wall Street Journal, although she said, "We have a long road ahead of us."
The uncertain situation in Wisconsin is a microcosm of what's happening in states across the country since the overturning of Roe v. Wade sent the issue of abortion back to the states.
More than a dozen states now enforce bans on almost all abortions, while other states have passed laws or amended their constitutions to protect the right to an abortion.
In Wisconsin, Democrat Gov. Tony Evers tried to convene the state's Republican-majority Legislature to repeal the state law banning most abortions, which was passed in 1849, but the Legislature has refused to consider it.
Wisconsin House Speaker Robin Vos, a Republican, said last week that Planned Parenthood's decision to resume abortions was presumptive given ongoing litigation, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Vos added: "If Planned Parenthood is so convinced that they are going to win at the state Supreme Court that they are willing to break the law, which the law on the books still is the 1849 statute, it's just another reminder that some people flub the law whether it's the law on the books or not."
Brian Freeman ✉
Brian Freeman, a Newsmax writer based in Israel, has more than three decades writing and editing about culture and politics for newspapers, online and television.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.