Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI), announced that abortion appointments will be scheduled through June 25 and additional appointment capacity added due to an anticipated Supreme Court decision on June 27. The leaked decision in early May made it clear that the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe1, putting safe and legal abortion at risk for people in Wisconsin. With only four health centers providing abortion in three out of the 72 counties in WI, abortion is very limited and heavily restricted. Patients seeking abortion care often must travel a great distance and face a significant number of abortion restrictions - including mandatory 24-hour waiting periods - which require a minimum of two visits for an abortion procedure. This makes scheduling abortion services especially difficult for the patient population in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin abortion providers are in a precarious position of potentially needing to immediately suspend abortion services on the same day as a Supreme Court decision due to a pre-Roe criminal ban on abortion that could go immediately into effect if Roe is overturned. Associate Medical Director, Dr. Allison Linton said, “to suspend care on the same day for patients who have traveled great distance and at great cost is inconvenient in the least; traumatizing for those who are caught by surprise after a highly anticipated appointment under difficult circumstances; and dangerous for those who are in the midst of an abortion procedure. As a result, the PPWI medical team worked to identify a solution to mitigate anticipated service interruptions on patients.”
PPWI understands the reality of requiring patients to travel out of state to access safe and legal care is extremely difficult. However, the prospects of having patient appointments unexpectantly interrupted only to then require patients to travel to a new, unknown location across state lines, with added time and cost constraints could further compromise patient health and access to timely health care. This was too great a cost. PPWI determined it was in the best interest of patients to direct them to abortion care out of state starting June 27 to ensure they have a more seamless and timely ability to access the abortion care they need, without interruption or additional barriers.
If the decision does not come down on the 27th , the PPWI team will determine whether it makes sense to resume abortion appointments. We know a decision from the Supreme Court will likely come during the final week of the month, and we have had a preview of their initial decision – so we know that our time providing abortion care is limited unless the Wisconsin Legislature repeals the criminal abortion law.
Dr. Linton continued, “PPWI has always and will continue to lead with what is in the patient’s best interest. These are not choices anyone should be forced to make. Deciding if or when to become a parent is one of the most personal, life-changing decisions people make. People deserve the right to control their own body, life, and future. Planned Parenthood stands for care. And we won't give up. Not now. Not ever.”
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin is a nonprofit health care provider serving 60,000 patients annually at 22 health centers. Planned Parenthood provides the full range of comprehensive reproductive health care including well woman exams, breast and cervical cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment, birth control and abortion care at three locations.
1 Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)