MADISON, Wis. — Planned Parenthood and Democratic lawmakers has called on the Republican— led Wisconsin Legislature to strike an abortion restriction from the state’s legal code even though the U.S. Supreme Court struck it down last week, rendering it unenforceable.
The Supreme Court overturned a similar Texas statute requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals on June 27, then rejected Wisconsin’s appeal seeking to have its own statute reinstated. The court found that such regulations are medically unnecessary and that they would unconstitutionally limit a woman’s right to abortion.
Although Wisconsin’s law has been nullified, Planned Parenthood and the Democrats want it removed from the books entirely.
“Allowing this law to remain on the books represents a state— sponsored violation of the dignity and civil liberties of every woman in the state of Wisconsin,” said Mel Barnes, a legal and policy associate for the group’s advocacy arm in the state, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin.
Thirty— five Democratic legislators signed a letter delivered to Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on July 7 calling for the repeal of the admitting privileges provision.
“Our laws in Wisconsin should reflect the law of the land,” Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, a La Crosse Democrat, said in a statement.
Fitzgerald said in a statement that Wisconsin statutes are revised to reflect court rulings on an ongoing basis and already include a permanent injunction against this section of the law, so a repeal of Act 37 is unnecessary.
“This letter is nothing but a publicity stunt by Democrat legislators,” he said.
A spokeswoman for Vos didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the prospects for the repeal of the law.
Barnes didn’t specify whether the organization would go after other still— valid portions of Wisconsin’s abortion laws, but she said the organization is always exploring all of its legal options.
Among the most disputed restrictions Wisconsin has enacted in recent years are a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and required ultrasounds before the procedures can be performed.
The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging a similar 20— week abortion ban in Georgia and filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging an ultrasound requirement in Indiana. Those cases could ultimately impact Wisconsin’s laws.
Anti— abortion advocates and legislators in Wisconsin have already lined up a series of legislative efforts for the upcoming session to further regulate abortion.
Rep. Jesse Kremer, a Republican from Kewaskum, planned to introduce a bill requiring doctors to inform patients of the ability to reverse medication-induced abortions after taking the drug — a practice disputed by the medical community. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says claims of reversal aren’t supported by scientific evidence.
The Wisconsin Right to Life group is also pursuing a ban on dilation— and— extraction, a common second-trimester abortion technique that opponents call “dismemberment abortions.” Several states recently banned the practice.