Supreme Court

In an expected ruling, this morning the U. S. supreme court overturned the Roe V. Wade decision, turning the legislation surrounding abortion over to individual states. This is a developing story. President Biden is currently speaking about the decision. 

In Wisconsin, the immediate effect of this ruling will be that Wisconsin will fall under the 1849 law on abortion, which only allows abortion to save the life of the mother. In practice in the past this has made it very difficult to obtain abortion since it places the burden of the decision on doctors who are not willing to risk incarceration if the courts disagree with their judgment. The 1849 law requires that three doctors agree that the abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother. There will now certainly be many rounds of litigation to determine if indeed the original abortion law automatically goes back into effect. However, in the interim the abortion providers in the state have stopped accepting appointments for abortions. 

Note that there is a planned protest at 6 PM today at the Federal Courthouse, 500 South Barstow in Eau Claire. 

Responses to the decision are coming from people throughout the state. 

Governor Tony Evers - “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 institutions. This is an absolutely disastrous and unconscionable decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, the consequences of which I hoped to never see again in my lifetime. I know many across our state and nation are scared—worried about their own health and about the health and safety of their family members, friends, and neighbors, who could very soon see the ability to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions stripped from them. My heart breaks for them, I grieve for them, and I pray for their strength and courage in the days ahead.

Representative Lisa Subeck  - “Abortion is healthcare, not criminal activity. Today’s decision by the Supreme Court puts into jeopardy the health and lives of millions of American women. The decision if and when to start a family is one of the most personal decisions an individual will make. Politicians and Supreme Court justices have no place in our reproductive healthcare decisions. Due to decades of inaction, an 1849 criminal ban on abortion remains on the books in Wisconsin. If enforced, the ban subjects physicians to felony charges and prison sentences for providing abortion care. When abortion is illegal, the need does not go away. Women will still experience unintended or untenable pregnancies, yet they will have nowhere to turn. Now is the time to pass the Abortion Rights Preservation Act to repeal Wisconsin’s archaic 1849 abortion ban once and for all. Our safety, privacy, and freedom depends on our ability to make our own reproductive healthcare decisions.”

Representative Glenn Grothman - “The Supreme Court made the correct and much-needed decision to overturn Roe v. Wade,” said Grothman. “Legality of abortions is now turned back to the states. It is important for America to remember, when ultrasounds were practically unheardof, 47 states had made abortion illegal. Now, with accurate ultrasounds, it is clear to all Americans that unborn children are human beings. We will see where the public and churches stand.

“Over the years, millions of children have had their dreams stolen before seeing the light of the day. But today marks a brighter future for the hearts and minds of unborn children, women, and families.

“I commend the six Justices who voted to overturn Roe for having the courage to base their decision on sound legal principles rather than a fashionable line of thinking that rules academia, Hollywood, and the mainstream media.”

Speaker Robin Vos - "Safeguarding the lives of unborn children shouldn’t be controversial. Today’s decision reaffirms their lives are precious and worthy of protection. “I agree with the justices in their opinion when they say, ‘The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.’ “I urge those who disagree with the decision to remain peaceful.”\

State Senator Kelda Helen Roys -“Five conservative extremists have traded the US Supreme Court’s legitimacy and the legal personhood of women for their own selfish crusade to impose their narrow religious views on an unwilling nation. Despite some four out of five Americans wanting abortion to remain safe and legal, five Justices have voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, rendering abortion illegal or unavailable in about half the states, including Wisconsin.

Wisconsinites now face a difficult road to accessing abortion, with an 1849 criminal abortion ban still on the books, along with many restrictions and regulations on abortion been passed over the last 50 years. Because of the legal uncertainty, many physicians will not risk felony charges and years in prison to continue providing abortion care. States where abortion remains legal will be overwhelmed with demand, so it will be challenging even for those with the means to travel. To change this, we must have political leaders who support the right to choose and who will work to restore our legal rights, at every level of government.

State Representative Jodi Emerson - Like millions of Americans, I am heartbroken and furious today. With this unjust and unconscionable decision, the Court crushes the sacred right to control one’s own body and to choose for one’s self whether and when to have children. Today’s ruling drags us back to a more dangerous and cruel time – a time when women had to put their lives at risk to seek illegal abortions – a time I hoped our country would never see again.

“Just two days ago, Wisconsin Republicans callously refused to even consider repealing our state’s barbaric criminal abortion ban.Under this 1849 law, a woman would be forced to give birth to her rapist’s child, or a young girl her father’s. A mother with a nonviable pregnancy would be forced to bring that pregnancy to term, regardless of its impact on her health and safety. And a doctor would be thrown in jail for providing needed reproductive healthcare.

“While we await word from a court on whether this egregious law is now enforceable, one thing is clear – today’s decision tramples fundamental human rights and jeopardizes women’s health, our status as equal citizens, and even our lives. I am holding in my heart today the women of our mothers’ and grandmothers’ generations who died after being forced to seek out unsafe abortions. In their memory, and for the sake of those who are now at risk, we must not give up on the fight for safe and legal abortion in Wisconsin. I will do everything in my power to protect the right to choose”

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Steve Hanson

Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Wis.Community, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers and the Local Media Association, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley



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