WISCONSIN (WFRV) – Abortions have been halted at Planned Parenthoods across the state. The group is already responding to the landmark decision by the Supreme Court and what it could mean for Wisconsin.
“It has taken away people’s ability to make their own healthcare decisions,” said Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin CEO Tanya Atkinson.
Atkinson says despite no longer legally being allowed to perform abortions here its work will not stop.
“Planned Parenthood’s doors are open across the state and we are still here to help patients to get the care they need,” Atkinson added.
That help includes helping patients travel to other states where abortions are legal, like nearby Illinois. Planned Parenthood said it can help with everything from travel arrangements to helping out with lost wages while people take time off work.
“What we do know, history has taught us this, is that banning abortions will not stop them in Wisconsin or any other state,” said Dr. Kathy King, medical director for PPWI.
State Attorney General Josh Kaul previously said his office would not enforce the law should it go into effect. But Planned Parenthood said it could not risk the potential consequences.
“We also had to consider the 72 counties in the state with different district attorneys who might have different thoughts on the applicability,” said Michelle Velasquez. She’s the director of legal services for PPWI.
Velasquez says because state law would make anyone who performs an abortion a felony, felonies have a statute of limitations of six years in Wisconsin.
“Future prosecutors would have the ability to look back at this period of time and file charges if they believed they could do so,” said Velasquez.
Planned Parenthood said it would send staff to Illinois to help provide support there. As of Friday, getting an appointment at a clinic was a wait time of upward of three weeks. It’s expected to only worsen now that abortions are banned in Wisconsin.
To watch Atkinson’s full statement, click here.