Planned Parenthood suspends pill abortions in WisconsinPlanned Parenthood ended nonsurgical abortions at its Wisconsin clinics Friday because of a new state law that subjects doctors who perform abortions but don’t follow certain procedures to criminal penalties.
By: Scott Bauer , Associated Press
MADISON — Planned Parenthood ended nonsurgical abortions at its Wisconsin clinics Friday because of a new state law that subjects doctors who perform abortions but don’t follow certain procedures to criminal penalties.
The law, signed by Gov. Scott Walker two weeks ago after the Republican-
controlled state Legislature passed it earlier this year, took effect Friday.
It mandates that women having nonsurgical abortions visit the same doctor three times and that doctors ensure the woman is having the procedure voluntarily and without coercion. Failure to follow those requirements could result in felony charges against the doctor.
The law does not affect emergency contraception, known as the morning-after pill.
Planned Parenthood president and chief executive officer Teri Huyck said because of confusion over the new law, nonsurgical abortions are being suspended. Planned Parenthood will continue to provide surgical abortions at its clinics in Madison, Milwaukee and the Appleton area, its leaders said.
“The added risks of felony penalties for physicians who provide medication abortion are unnecessary and intended to threaten a physician’s ability to provide women with medication abortion,” Huyck said. “The decision to end a pregnancy is a complex one, specific to each woman and her individual circumstances. Decisions about childbearing should be made by a woman in consultation with her family and doctor — not by politicians.”
Four other states — Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota — have similar laws to Wisconsin’s new law, according to the New York-based Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research organization that supports abortion rights. There is also a similar law set to take effect in Tennessee in July, and legislatures in Alabama, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Oklahoma were considering like-minded proposals, according to the Institute.