National Partnership for Women & Families

Wisconsin | In the News

States Continue To Limit Abortion Access, Despite Public Support for Abortion Rights
Although a majority of U.S. residents still support abortion rights, states across the country over the past four years have succeeded in enacting legislation that could drastically diminish abortion access for millions of women if allowed to stand, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Wis. Appeals Judge's Medication Abortion Ruling
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen (R) on Wednesday appealed a judge's ruling that a 2012 state law restricting medication abortion does not require a physician to be present when a woman ingests the drugs, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

More States Protecting Pregnant Workers Through Legislation
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) on Tuesday is expected to sign a bill (SB 212) that would bolster accommodations for pregnant workers, making Delaware the most recent on a growing list of states and localities to increase workplace protections during pregnancy, Brigid Schulte writes in the Washington Post's "She The People."

Admitting Privileges Mandates Create Hurdles for Abortion Providers
Admitting privileges requirements, enacted in several states, have proven to be "a potent tool" for abortion-rights opponents in their goal of limiting abortion access, the Washington Post reports.

Supreme Court Will Not Intervene in Wis. Admitting Privileges Case
The Supreme Court denied a request to consider a Wisconsin law (SB 206) that would require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, Reuters/Huffington Post reports.

State Lawmakers Mobilize To Protect Contraceptive Access After Hobby Lobby
State lawmakers are working to protect women's access to contraception in response to the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling, which allows some for-profit companies to exclude contraceptive coverage from their employer-sponsored health plans based on their owners' religious objections, Politico Pro reports.

Many State Abortion Restrictions Now Before Federal Courts
Federal courts are weighing a number of state laws, crafted by Republican-led legislatures, that create new requirements for abortion clinics or restrict when and how abortions are provided, the AP/Huffington Post reports.

States, Cities Mull 'Buffer Zones' Changes
Various states and cities are evaluating their own abortion clinic security laws after a recent Supreme Court decision, Politico reports.

Wis. Will No Longer Enforce State Contraceptive Coverage Requirements for Companies With Religious Objections
In light of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling, Wisconsin officials will no longer enforce a state law that requires insurers to cover prescribed contraceptives for companies that have religious objections to such medications, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Judge Clarifies Wis. Medication Abortion Law
A Wisconsin judge on Thursday ruled that a state law restricting medication abortion does not require a physician to be present when a woman ingests the drugs, the AP/Washington Times reports.

Mass. Moves To Protect Clinics After Supreme Court Ruling; Other Municipalities Weigh 'Buffer Zone' Laws
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) on Wednesday said he aims to have a bill on his desk by the end of July to bolster abortion clinic security in a manner consistent with the Supreme Court's recent ruling striking down the state's "buffer zone" law, the AP/Miami Herald reports.

Featured Blog
"Repro Wrap: An Abortion is not a Luxury Vehicle and Other News," (Marty, Care2, 9/6).

Admitting Privileges Law Unnecessary, Wis. Abortion Providers Tell Court
A federal judge on Tuesday heard arguments from abortion providers against a Wisconsin law (SB 206) that providers say is unnecessary and will force a clinic in Milwaukee to close, the AP/Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter reports.

NYT Editorial: Blocking Abortion Access is Real Aim of State Laws
"[I]n state after state, with the enthusiastic support of Republican lawmakers, it has become increasingly difficult, if not impossible, for women to get safe and legal abortion care," a New York Times editorial states.

Wis. Petitions Supreme Court To Review Admitting Privileges Law
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen (R) on Wednesday petitioned the Supreme Court to review a state law (Act 37) that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.

Spread of TRAP Laws Threatens Clinics Nationwide
The burgeoning number of states imposing strict regulations on abortion clinics "is proving one of the most effective [tactics] in years for pro-life groups" that seek to limit access to abortion services by closing clinics, the Washington Times reports.

New 'Buffer Zone' in Madison, Wis., Quickly Draws Lawsuit
A coalition of antiabortion-rights groups has filed a federal lawsuit against a new "buffer zone" ordinance in Madison, Wis., arguing that it violates First Amendment rights, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

On Roe Anniversary, Both Sides Grapple With Legislative, Judicial Realities
On the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, abortion-rights supporters and opponents are assessing their strategies in light of this year's midterm election and judicial responses to recent abortion restrictions.

Featured Blogs
"Judge to Texas Women: Living 150 Miles From an Abortion Clinic is No Big Deal if You Drive Fast" (Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress," 1/7), "Salon's Guide To Convincing Free-Market Ideologues To Support Reproductive Rights" (Katie McDonough, Salon, 1/9) and "REPORT: The United States Scores a Measly C- on Reproductive Health Care" (Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress," 1/9).

Federal Appeals Court Stays Wis. Admitting Privileges Law, Pending Trial
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Dec. 20 upheld a lower court's preliminary injunction against a Wisconsin law (SB 206) that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles, the AP/Minnesota Star Tribune reports.

States Consider Abortion, Paid Leave, Gender Transition Policies
The Women's Health Policy Report summarizes recent news coverage of state action on reproductive health-related issues.

Appeals Court Hears Arguments Over Wis. Admitting Privileges Law
A federal appeals court on Tuesday heard oral arguments in a case regarding a temporarily blocked Wisconsin law (SB 206) that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles, Bloomberg reports.

Wis. Assembly Approves 'Choose Life' License Plates After Republicans Drop Compromise Plan
Wisconsin's Assembly last week approved legislation (AB 206) that would create "Choose Life" license plates and funnel proceeds from the plates to an antiabortion-rights organization, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Wis. Antiabortion-Rights Bills Postponed for This Year
Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) on Friday delayed floor consideration of two antiabortion-rights bills (AB 216; AB 217) until at least early next year, Wisconsin Public Radio News reports.

Featured Blog
"Wisconsin Senate Prepares To Vote on Abortion and Contraception Restrictions" (Wilson, RH Reality Check, 11/11).

Wis. Senate Committee Advances Two Antiabortion-Rights Bills
The Wisconsin Senate Health Committee on Thursday advanced a pair of antiabortion-rights bills to the floor for a full vote, the AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Law Pitting 'Fetal Protections' Against Pregnant Women's Rights Faces First Federal Lawsuit
A lawsuit filed this month is the first test in federal court for a 1998 Wisconsin law (Act 292) allowing child-welfare officials to forcibly confine pregnant women who allegedly use illegal drugs or alcohol "to a severe degree" and refuse to accept treatment, the New York Times reports.

Featured Blogs
"Under Texas' New Restrictions, More Than 22,000 Women May Be Denied A Safe Abortion Next Year" (Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress," 10/3); "Telemed Abortion Ban Isn't About Women's Safety, Says Planned Parenthood" (Robin Marty, Care2, 10/2) and "Advocacy Group Seeks Immediate Release of Involuntarily Detained Pregnant Woman" (Jessica Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 10/3).

Planned Parenthood Wis. Declines To Remove Ad Targeting State Senate President
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin slightly changed an advertisement targeting state Senate President Mike Ellis (R) after the state's public affairs television channel said the group improperly used its content, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Wis. Medication Abortion Law Tied to Increase in Surgical Abortions, Group Says
The number of surgical abortions in Wisconsin increased by 8% in 2012, while the overall number of abortions decreased, according to state records, the Appleton Post Crescent reports.

States 0-8 in Court Challenges Over Antiabortion Laws
States facing court challenges over abortion restrictions enacted this year have lost in every case that has reached a judge, Bloomberg reports.

Featured Blogs
"Five States Where Recent Attacks on Abortion are Already Threatening Women's Access to Health Care" (Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress," 8/19).

Wis. Appeals Ruling on Antiabortion Law; AG Says Religious Hospitals Must Grant Abortion Providers Admitting Privileges
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen (R) on Tuesday appealed a federal court ruling that blocked until November a state law (SB 206) requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Fearing Political Fallout, Some State Conservatives Ease Push for Antiabortion Bills
Concerned about alienating moderate voters in the 2014 elections, some Republican state lawmakers are stemming their party's widespread push for antiabortion-rights legislation in conservative-led states, the AP/Huffington Post reports.

Federal Judge Blocks Law Threatening Wis. Abortion Clinics
A federal judge on Friday issued a preliminary injunction against a Wisconsin law (SB 206) that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles, the Washington Post's "Post Politics" reports.

GOP Governors Downplay Antiabortion Laws at National Governors Association Meeting
Governors at the National Governors Association meeting on Friday discussed recently enacted abortion regulations, with some Republicans seeking to downplay those efforts and Democrats looking to capitalize on the GOP's stance on social issues, the Washington Post's "Post Politics" reports.

Wis. Doctors Apply for Hospital Admitting Privileges To Prove Futility of New Law
Seven doctors who perform abortions in Wisconsin are applying for hospital admitting privileges as a way to show they cannot comply with a new state law (SB 206) that requires them to have the privileges, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Doctor's Incorrect Declaration Shines Light on Confusion Over Wis. Admitting Privileges Law
An affidavit filed by a doctor in support of Wisconsin's new abortion regulations (SB 206) included inaccurate information, demonstrating the confusion over whether abortion providers will be able to gain hospital admitting privileges if the law is upheld in court, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Featured Blogs
"Federal Court Blocks North Dakota Law That Would Ban Abortion as Early as Six Weeks" (Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 7/22); "Solutions in Search of a Problem: Texas Is Latest to Enact Rules Aimed at Shutting Down Abortion Providers" (Cohen, RH Reality Check, 7/19); "Legal Wrap: States Ramp Up Anti-Abortion Activity, Again" (Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 7/22); "Despite North Carolina's Attack On Abortion Clinics, Planned Parenthood Pledges To Stay Open" (Culp-Ressler, "Think Progress," Center for American Progress, 7/19); and "Thanks To Better Sex Ed, California's Teen Birth Rate Has Plummeted By 60 Percent" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 7/19).

Federal Judge Extends Injunction on Wis. Admitting-Privileges Law
A federal judge on Wednesday extended a temporary injunction by two weeks on a provision in a Wisconsin law (SB 206) that would require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles, Reuters reports.

Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks New Wis. Admitting Privileges Law
A federal judge on Monday issued a temporary injunction to block part of a Wisconsin law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, Reuters reports.

Featured Blogs
"Lone Star State Not Alone" (Louise Melling, American Civil Liberties Union's "Blog of Rights," 7/2) and "After One Year of Forced Ultrasounds in Virginia, Report Examines Role of CPCs" (Robin Marty, RH Reality Check, 7/8).

Planned Parenthood, ACLU Quickly Challenge Wis. Hospital Admitting Privileges Law
Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the American Civil Liberties Union on Friday filed a lawsuit seeking to block a Wisconsin law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, the Washington Post reports.

Wis. Bill Would Require Burial, Cremation or Donation of Fetal Remains
A Wisconsin bill (AB 252) would require abortion providers to make arrangements for fetal remains to be buried, cremated or donated to medical research, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Wis. Assembly Advances Insurance Coverage Restrictions
The Wisconsin Assembly on Thursday approved a bill (AB 216) that would restrict health insurance coverage of abortion and contraception in the state, Reuters reports.

Wis. Antiabortion Bill Heads to Gov. Walker
The Wisconsin Assembly on Thursday approved a bill (SB 206) that contains several abortion restrictions and sent it to Gov. Scott Walker (R), who is expected to sign it into law, Reuters reports.

Wis. Planned Parenthood Clinics To Resume Medication Abortions
Planned Parenthood clinics in Appleton, Madison and Milwaukee will resume offering medication abortions after a judge issued a temporary injunction blocking portions of a state law (Act 217) restricting the method, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

Wis. Gov. Walker Backs Fast-Tracked Antiabortion Bill
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) on Tuesday said he would sign a multi-faceted antiabortion-rights bill (SB 206) that is quickly advancing through the Republican-controlled Legislature, the AP/St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Featured Blogs
"Doctors' Group Slams Anti-Abortion Laws for 'Imposing a Political Agenda on Medical Practice'" (Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress," 6/10) and "Nonsurgical Abortion Access To Return to Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin" (Jessica Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 6/7).

Wis. Bill Would Limit Abortion, Contraceptive Coverage
The Wisconsin Assembly Health Committee on Wednesday heard from critics and supporters of a bill (AB 216) that would restrict health insurance coverage of abortion and contraception, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Funding Cuts Force Closure of Four Planned Parenthood Wisconsin Affiliates
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin on Monday announced that state budget cuts will force the closure of four family planning clinics that are the sole reproductive health care providers in their areas, the Huffington Post reports.

Featured Blogs
"State Funding Cuts and Anti-Choice Policies Cited for Closure of Four Wisconsin Planned Parenthood Clinics" (Robin Marty, RH Reality Check, 2/18), "North Dakota Attorney General Says Sex Ed Program Can Move Forward" (Jessica Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 2/18) and "State Legislatures Increasingly Provide Tax-Payer Funding of Non-Medical Crisis Pregnancy Centers" (Marty, RH Reality Check, 2/15).

Jurisdictional Issues Preclude Settlement Over Wis. Medication Abortion Law
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin on Friday said it would end its federal lawsuit over a state medication abortion law (Act 217) and refile the suit in state court after jurisdictional issues impeded a settlement in the case, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

Wis. Lawmakers, Antiabortion Groups Plan New Abortion Restrictions
A new session of the Wisconsin Legislature began on Monday, and lawmakers and antiabortion-rights groups are planning measures to further restrict abortion access in the state, WUWM reports.

Featured Blogs
"Republican Lawmakers To Kick Off New Year by Limiting Women's Reproductive Health" (Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "Think Progress," 1/7).

States in 2012 Passed Second-Highest Number of Abortion Restrictions Ever, Guttmacher Finds
States passed 43 abortion restrictions in 2012, a "sharp decrease" from 2011 but nonetheless the "second-highest number" enacted in a single year, according to a new study by the Guttmacher Institute, The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports.

Planned Parenthood Challenges Wis. Medication Abortion Law
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin on Tuesday filed suit against a state law that requires physicians to complete a series of steps before prescribing medication abortion drugs, the Fond du Lac Reporter reports.

Featured Blogs
"5 States Where GOP Extremists Still Rage Against Women," (Sarah Seltzer, Salon, 11/30).

Wis. Antiabortion Group Hopes To Use GOP Majority To Bolster Abortion Regulations
Wisconsin's largest antiabortion-rights group, Wisconsin Right to Life, hopes to capitalize on Republican control of the Legislature and governorship to push through a number of abortion restrictions in the next legislative session, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Report Notes 40 Laws Enacted in 15 States That Could Hinder Women's Access to Abortion Care, Reproductive Health Service
U.S. women increasingly face barriers to obtaining reproductive health services as states continue to pass laws restricting access, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Center for Reproductive Rights, Reuters reports.

High Number of State Abortion Restrictions Marked by Increased Focus on 'Fetal Pain' Bills
The number of state-level abortion restrictions is approaching record-setting levels again this year, a fact that some abortion-rights opponents attribute to their increased focus on so-called "fetal pain" legislation, Stateline/Kaiser Health News reports.

Wis. Gov. Walker Quietly Signs Bills Placing New Restrictions on Abortion Care, Insurance Coverage, Sex Education
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) on Thursday signed three separate bills restricting abortion care and insurance coverage of the procedure, as well as imposing new requirements for sex education, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.

Wis. Assembly Passes Bills Limiting Abortion Coverage, Mandating Abstinence Education
The Wisconsin Assembly this week passed bills that would restrict insurance coverage of abortion services and require schools to teach that abstinence is the only reliable method of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, the AP/Racine Journal Times reports

Wis. Senate Passes Bill Tightening Voluntary Consent Requirements, Banning Telemedicine for Abortion Care
The Wisconsin Senate on Wednesday voted 17-15 to pass a bill that would place new restrictions on abortion care, the AP/Superior Telegram reports.

Wis. Assembly Panel Advances Sex Education Bill With Focus on Abstinence
The Wisconsin Assembly's education committee on Wednesday passed a bill that would require that sex education programs in schools stress abstinence, WHBL reports.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin Cut From Screening Program for Low-Income Women
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin has been removed from a program offering preventive health screenings to uninsured women in four counties, state Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith recently announced, the Fond du Lac Reporter reports.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin Could Lose Preventive Screening Contract
Gov. Scott Walker's (R) administration recently told Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin officials that the organization will be cut from a program offering preventive health screenings to uninsured women, Mother Jones reports.

Wis. Senate Considers Bill Preventing Webcam Consultations for Abortions
New legislation (SB 306) introduced in the Wisconsin Senate would require that physicians be in the room with women receiving drugs to induce abortion, thus preventing consultations via webcam, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Wis. Senate Endorses Abstinence-Only Sex Education Bill
The Wisconsin Senate last week voted 17-15 to approve a bill (SB 237) that would allow schools to teach abstinence-only sex education courses, effectively undermining a law enacted last year that requires sex education programs to include instruction on contraception, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Wis. Bill Would Ban Research Involving 'Fetal Body Parts'
Wisconsin Assembly Republicans last week introduced legislation (AB 214) that would prohibit the use of fetal body parts in research, the Madison Capital Times reports.

Wis. Planned Parenthood Prepares for Funding Cuts Under New State Budget
Planned Parenthood affiliates in Wisconsin are evaluating how funding cuts in the recently approved state budget will affect services at their health centers, the Appleton Post Crescent reports.

Wisconsin | In the Courts

This section provides a brief overview of significant cases impacting reproductive rights and health in Wisconsin.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin v. Van Hollen
Challenge to a Wisconsin law that imposes restrictions on the use of mifepristone for medication abortion, including requiring several in-person visits with a physician.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin v. Van Hollen
Federal court challenge to a Wisconsin law that requires abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges.

Beltran v. Loenish
Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus filed on behalf of a pregnant woman who was detained in state custody under a law giving the state jurisdiction over fertilized eggs, embryos, fetuses, and pregnant women at all stages of pregnancy in cases in which the pregnant woman habitually used alcohol or controlled substances.