From then to now!
According to UW Health, the loss of safe and legal abortion is primarily felt by marginalized populations. In 2019, 28% of Wisconsin abortions were provided to Black women. The overturning of Roe v. Wade that immediately made abortion illegal in Wisconsin is an attack on our community. However, abortions remain legal and accessible in surrounding states like Illinois and Minnesota. Here’s what you need to know.
In 1973, the US Supreme Court made access to abortion a constitutional right in many instances and any laws of the criminal penalties from 1849 were unenforceable. Research shows people who are denied abortions are more likely to experience higher levels of anxiety, lower life satisfaction, and lower self-esteem compared with those who are able to obtain abortions. In a landmark study of more than 1,000 women across 21 states, those who were allowed to obtain an abortion were no more likely to report negative emotions, mental health symptoms, or suicidal thoughts than women who were denied an abortion. Women who proceeded with an unwanted pregnancy also subsequently had more physical health problems, including two who died from childbirth complications.
In Wisconsin, the state's 173-year-old abortion ban is once again the law, making the procedure illegal unless deemed ‘medically necessary’ to save the patient's life. Providing an abortion is now a felony punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
It’s unclear whether or not certain forms of birth control will be outlawed. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has said he does not want to outlaw condoms or birth control but is open to the idea of restricting emergency contraception. Vos said he supports passing legislation that would create new exceptions to the state ban for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.