On Friday, a judge in Dane County, Wisconsin, opened the door to the possibility of expanding abortion in Wisconsin. The case involved centers around an 1849 law that is believed to protect most preborn children in the state.
However, as it outlaws killing “fetuses” but doesn’t specifically state anything about medical “abortions,” Judge Diane Schlipper explained that she does not believe doctors could be prosecuted for performing an abortion before viability. She wrote, “There is no such thing as an ‘1849 abortion ban’ in Wisconsin.”
In this 1800s law, Section 940.04 states: “Any person, other than the mother, who intentionally destroys the life of an unborn child is guilty of a Class H felony.”
In 2022, after the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Wisconsin went back to that statute, essentially eliminating abortion access in the state. This caused an uproar from a group led by Planned Parenthood — and days after the overturning of Roe, protestors stormed the capitol.
It didn’t take more than a minute for Republicans to gavel in and out of a special session called at that time by Governor Tony Evers. “Wisconsin law has not changed, and our pro-life position has not changed,” State Sen. Devin LeMahieu said in a statement. “Killing innocent babies is not health care.”
Attorney General Joel Urmanski, however, opposes the 1849 law, and more than a year ago, directly after the overturning of Roe, mounted a challenge against the law.
Gracie Skogman, Legislator and Pac Director for Wisconsin Right to Life, told Live Action News that Wisconsin Right to Life is extremely disappointed. “The attorney general, who is tasked with enforcing the law, is challenging the law. We [Wisconsin Right to Life] are disappointed to see the case moving forward. From our perspective, the attorney general was derelict in his duties to challenge the law and it was clear that his argument did not hold weight.”
Ultimately, Skogman says, the decision will likely be brought to the Wisconsin Supreme Court and she holds hope that the Court will do its duty to protect and defend life.
In Wisconsin, abortion has been a defining issue in recent political campaigns and will likely continue to be so.