MADISON – Today, Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) and Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) unveiled the Abortion Access Protection Act at a press conference along with women’s health care advocates and providers. The act would repeal Wisconsin’s criminal abortion ban.
Wisconsin is one of only 9 states with a statute criminalizing abortion still on the books over 45 years after Roe v. Wade made this criminal ban unenforceable. If Roe were to be overturned, however, Wisconsin’s law would once again take effect and abortion would immediately become a criminal offense in the state, meaning physicians who provide abortion could be charged with a felony and face up to six years in prison.
“The Abortion Access Protection Act recognizes that providing abortion services is health care, not criminal activity. Our bill ensures that Wisconsin women can make our own deeply personal health care decisions based on what is best for our health and well-being, without interference from politicians,” said Rep. Subeck.
“As the balance of the Supreme Court turns against access to abortion, the threat to legal abortion is the greatest since Roe v. Wade was decided. Our bill modernizes Wisconsin’s harsh and obsolete abortion ban so that the state treats abortion care like any other form of health care in accordance with medical standards,” said Sen. Risser.
“Access to abortion is about treating women with dignity and equality. Women deserve the respect to make our own decisions about our bodies, our health and our lives. It’s time to speak up to make sure abortion care is available in our communities,” said Sara Finger, Executive Director for the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health.
“Laws that ban abortions effectively create further barriers for people without financial means to access the health care they need. We must acknowledge that there is no such thing as banning abortions, only banning safe abortions. What’s at stake here is a clinically *safe* abortion in a setting with a licensed medical professional surrounded by services to help individuals dealing with the full gravity of an array of situations. Banning abortion and reducing access for women moves Wisconsin in absolutely the wrong direction. This legislature should respect a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions and repeal Wisconsin’s 170 year old abortion ban,” said Tamara Thompson, Co-Director of Doula Programming, Maroon Calabash.
“Banning abortion in Wisconsin is not in the best interest of patients. My patients should be able to make their own healthcare decisions based on what is best for their health and well-being. Healthcare professionals shouldn’t face prison time for providing patients with the care they need. Patients and doctors should be free to make these personal decisions without political interference,” said Dr. Douglas Laube, MD.
“The Abortion Access Protection Act is an important step to safeguard abortion care in Wisconsin. This bill removes an outdated law on Wisconsin’s books that would automatically make abortion at any point in pregnancy a crime if Roe v. Wade were overturned. With the wave of abortion bans we’ve seen pass in other states, the threat to abortion access is real. Now is the time to protect safe, legal abortion in Wisconsin,”said Mel Barnes, Legal and Policy Director at Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin.