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What the June Medical Services U.S. Supreme Court Decision Means for Wisconsin?

 

On June 29, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled Louisiana’s attempt to block abortion access unconstitutional in June Medical Services LLC v. Russo. The Court affirmed its 2016 ruling in Whole Woman's Health where it struck down an identical “admitting privileges” law in Texas. In both cases, the Court saw these restrictions for what they are: medically unnecessary restrictions designed solely to block access to care. As a reminder, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI) previously challenged a similar “admitting privileges law” here in Wisconsin (and won). Since Whole Woman's Health, nothing has changed except that there are two new justices on the Court, both appointed by President Trump. Today the Court made clear that a change of personnel does not change the law.  

 

What does this mean for abortion access?

Abortion is legal across the US. In Louisiana, providers that would have been forced to close by this law may continue seeing patients. Other abortion restrictions (not admitting privileges, but for example the 24-hour waiting period) are not affected by today’s ruling so those restrictions stand. However, this ruling makes it easier to continue to challenge those restrictions in court.   

What does this mean here in Wisconsin? 

Care at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin

Care at PPWI health centers stays the same. Abortion is safe and legal in Wisconsin and patients can make appointments by phone or online. To make an appointment for abortion services or family planning healthcare, call 1-800-230-7526 or visit ppwi.org 

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin’s Lawsuit

PPWI’s lawsuit challenging three abortion restriction will move forward. The trial for this lawsuit is set for December. The lawsuit challenges the abortion restrictions in Wisconsin. For more information about this lawsuit, see here.  

Barriers to Abortion Care

We still have too many barriers to abortion care. We know Roe is not a reality for many of our patients and Wisconsin has many medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion care. PPAWI continues to fight to change our state laws by supporting the Abortion Access Protection Act (which would repeal Wisconsin's 1849 criminal abortion law, but is unenforceable under Roe) and the Respect Women Act (which would repeal many existing abortion restrictions and enshrine protections for abortion care in Wisconsin law). 

 

What can I do to help ensure abortion care remains legal and becomes more accessible in Wisconsin?

Take a moment to contact your state legislators and ask them to support the Abortion Access Protection Act (AAPA) and the Respect Women Act (RWA).

The AAPA would repeal Wisconsin’s 1849 criminal abortion law, which would allow physicians who provide abortion care to be charged with a felony. This law is currently unenforceable because of Roe v. Wade, but the current SCOTUS majority represents a serious threat to Roe, so we need to make sure our state’s laws will protect access to abortion care regardless of who is on the Court.

The RWA would protect every patient’s right to receive accurate medical information and remove other harmful state restrictions on access to abortion care.

 

I want to learn more about the June Medical Services decision. Where should I go for more information?

 

The Center for Reproductive Rights represented independent providers in this case. Check out their page on the lawsuit, which has a timeline and other helpful background information on the case.