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In Wisconsin

After Roe, abortion will be illegal in most circumstances. Hear from Wisconsin Family Action about what’s at stake, and how you can be part of the fight for life. Then, keep reading to find out more about what abortion law would be in your state after Roe.

After Roe, states will have an even greater responsibility to protect life. Partner with your state’s family policy council to ensure that your state is pro-life, from conception all the way to natural death!

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THE BIG QUESTION

After Roe, will my state ban nearly all abortions or allow nearly all abortions?

Wisconsin has a statute making abortion illegal in nearly all circumstances. Wis. Stat. § 940.04(1). However, courts have interpreted this statute in different ways, and Wisconsin would have to decide whether and how it is effective in a post-Roe Wisconsin. In the meantime, Wisconsin has other legal restrictions on abortion—read more about them below.

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WHAT’S NEXT

What is my state’s next step in the fight for life, once Roe is overturned?

While Wisconsin has an intact, enforceable pre-Roe statute criminalizing most abortions in Wisconsin, we believe it is imperative that we declare the personhood of unborn children and ensconce that clearly and definitively in our state constitution. The existing law will very likely be legally challenged; we will do our utmost to not just defend that law, but to also legislatively refine it to ensure it will withstand any and all legal scrutiny, in order that abortion is unambiguously illegal in The Badger State.

MORE ABOUT YOUR STATE’S ABORTION LAWS

Below, we’ve summarized what abortion laws would be in your state after Roe.

Abortion Limits, Exceptions and Enforcement

Limitations on abortions

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If my state won’t ban all abortions, what are the limits to abortion?

Wisconsin has a post-viability ban that prohibits abortion when, in the subjective judgment of the mother’s attending physician, the baby is reasonably likely to survive outside the womb with or without life support. Wis. Stat. § 940.15(1).


Exceptions to any limitations

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Are there any exceptions to those limitations placed on abortion?

The post-viability ban includes an exception for when an abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother or to preserve her health. Wis. Stat. § 940.15(2).


Penalties for performing an illegal abortion

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What are the penalties to abortion providers for committing an illegal abortion (one of the forms of abortion that my state has limited under the law)?

Yes: A violation of the post-viability ban is a felony. Wis. Stat. § 940.15(2).

A violation of the physician requirement (see below) is a felony. Wis. Stat. § 940.15(5).


Enforcement

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When abortion laws are violated, who can file a lawsuit to enforce their rights and the law?

Parents whose minor child is injured during an abortion have a civil cause of action for emotional and physical injury done to the child. Wis. Stat. § 895.037(3).


Special standards of care

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Does my state impose a special medical standard of care on abortion providers?

Yes, when an abortion is necessary to save the life or health of the mother, the attending physician must use the method which is most likely to preserve the life of the unborn child. Wis. Stat. § 940.15.


Protecting Fundamental Rights

Parents

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Does my state give parents the right to consent for their child to get an abortion?

Yes, consent from one parent is required; however, this state has a method where a minor can obtain permission from the courts to receive an abortion without parental notice or consent. Wis. Stat. § 48.375(4)(a).


Medical professionals

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Does my state have conscience protections for medical professionals who do not want to participate in abortions?

Yes: Any hospital staff member or employee may refuse, on moral or religious grounds, to assist in or perform an abortion. Wis. Stat. § 253.09(1).

Healthcare workers who refuse to assist in or perform an abortion are protected from civil liability and from employer retaliation. Wis. Stat. § 253.09(2)–(3).


Babies Born Alive

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Are there legal protections for babies born alive following a botched abortion in my state?

Yes, a baby who survives an abortion “has the same legal status and legal rights as a human being” who was born without an abortive procedure. Wis. Stat. § 990.001(17).


Safety & Health of Women

Physician-only requirement

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Does an abortion have to be provided by a licensed physician in my state?

Yes, one must be a physician to perform abortions in Wisconsin. Wis. Stat. § 940.15(5).


Informed consent

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Does my state’s law require that a woman give informed consent and/or receive counseling prior to allowing an abortion to be performed?

Yes, a woman seeking an abortion must be informed of particular medical risks associated with the abortion procedure (Wis. Stat. § 253.10(3)(c)(1)(c)) and available medical assistance for pregnancy and childbirth. Wis. Stat. § 253.10(3)(c)(2)(a).

This applies to minors and their parents or guardians also, with exceptions. Wis. Stat. § 253.10(3)(c)(7).


Waiting period

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Does my state place any waiting requirement on abortion so that a mother has more time to decide?

Yes, a 24-hour delay is required. Wis. Stat. § 253.10(3)(c)(1).


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