Wisconsin has among the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation.
An 1849 abortion law outlaws abortion care- making no exceptions for rape or incest. The only exception to this law is “the life of the mother.”
Telehealth for medication abortion services is also currently banned in Wisconsin. That means that people in Wisconsin can’t receive abortion care via telehealth services from other states where it is available.
Low-income and rural folks are particularly hard hit by these laws. People of color are historically, and currently, prevented from accessing their reproductive options at higher rates than white people. Women, transgender people and gender non-conforming people in every Wisconsin community need and deserve full, equitable access to compassionate abortion care.
Prior to the reversal of Roe v. Wade, there were only four clinics in the state of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Madison and Sheboygan that provided abortion care. Folks who live far away from these cities were forced to travel to these cities, acquiring burdens of travel costs, time off from work, child care, and other barriers.
Even before the fall of Roe v. Wade, the following bans restricted access for Wisconsin residents.
Patients were required to receive state-directed counseling that includes information designed to discourage them from having an abortion, and then wait 24 hours before the procedure was provided.
Counseling was required to be in person and must take place before the waiting period begins, thereby necessitating two trips to the facility. For those who travel long distances to the clinic, this law required them to make the trip twice or to stay overnight, adding even more costs and barriers.
Anti-abortion protesters are often outside of abortion clinics in Wisconsin. These groups use shame, aggression, and medical misinformation to try and deter patients from seeking abortion care.
Health plans offered in the state’s health exchange under the Affordable Care Act can NOT cover the cost of an abortion, unless the patient’s life is endangered, their physical health is severely compromised, or in cases of rape or incest.
There are ~80 fake clinics, or Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs), across Wisconsin. CPCs are “storefronts that use false and misleading advertising and the offer of free pregnancy tests or other services to lure women into their offices. Then their goal is to dissuade women from exercising their right to choose.” CPCs use misleading advertising tactics, give evasive answers on the phone, have confusing names and locations, use intimidation, anti-abortion propaganda, and misinformation to stop folks from having abortions, and more. (NARAL Pro-Choice America) Learn more about fake clinics from Expose Fake Clinics and NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Therefore, Roe v. Wade has never been enough.
With the reversal of Roe v. Wade, WMF Wisconsin’s efforts are needed more than ever. We have partnerships with abortion funds in Minnesota and Illinois to allocate WMF funds to Wisconsin residents traveling to these states for abortion care. WMF helps to cover the cost of abortion appointments at clinics in these states, in addition to costs for travel, lodging and child care for Wisconsin residents. We also respond to requests for solidarity or collaborative funding requests from clinics or other abortion funds. All funds raised for WMF Wisconsin go to support abortion care. WMF Wisconsin does not do direct case management. Instead, we work closely with P.O.W.E.R.S.to ensure that people have information that they need to make pregnancy decisions.