Trigger bans on abortion were implemented immediately in a handful of states following the U.S. Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade on Friday. Abortion laws are expected to be battled in Wisconsin, though Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin has been forced to temporarily suspend abortion services due to a 173-year-old law that was believed to be activated by the Supreme Court's decision.
A message on the Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin website reads:
"Due to a recent Supreme Court Decision Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin has temporarily suspended abortion services. If you live in Wisconsin and need an abortion, it's important to contact your local Planned Parenthood first. We will work with you to get abortion care in a state where it remains legal. We can also help connect you to additional financial assistance."
Meantime, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin will help guide residents seeking an abortion to a safe state where it remains legal, like Minnesota and Iowa.
South Dakota is one of five states, along with Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky and Oklahoma, where trigger bans went into effect immediately Friday.
"Today, our daughters have less rights than their mothers, less rights than their grandmothers," Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin President Tanya Atkinson said in a video. "This is absolutely unconscionable. People should be able to make their own healthcare decision."
What lies ahead in Wisconsin is a likely battle in the courts, with the law from 1849 only allowing abortion if it is deemed necessary to save the mother's life. Gov. Tony Evers attempted to have the outdated law repealed, but Republican lawmakers convened Wednesday at a special session and exited 14 seconds later without a vote, according to The Associated Press.
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul supports the right to choose, saying his office will release more information about how they're moving forward next week.
“We must now turn to Congress, state courts, and state legislatures. Our office is reviewing today’s decision and will be providing further information about how we intend to move forward next week," Kaul said. "We are at a crossroads for the future of reproductive freedom, and we need elected officials to step up and protect access to safe and legal abortion.”
If the right to choose is denied in Wisconsin, it will be up to lawmakers to determine what constitutes a legal abortion. Would it be only to save the mother's life, or would exceptions be made for victims of rape and incest?
In Minnesota, the right to an abortion stands with or without federal protections. In 1995, the Minnesota Supreme Court's ruling in Doe v. Gomez found the state constitution protects both the right to have an abortion and the right to decide to have an abortion.
The only way to overturn that protection would be through a statewide vote or by enacting a “fetal personhood” law, which would generally establish that a fetus has full legal rights at any stage of gestation.
That brings the Nov. 6 gubernatorial election in Minnesota into the frame, as Gov. Tim Walz says abortion will remain legal as long as he's leading the state. His challenger, Republican Scott Jensen, has said he only supports abortion to save the mother's life.
Asked during a May interview on WCCO Radio if he would support abortion for females who are raped or become impregnated by a family member, Jensen didn't answer directly, saying he only supports abortion to protect a mother's life. His official stance on the issue, via his campaign website, makes no mention of rape and incest exceptions.
He believes in the sanctity of human life, from conception to natural death. While not every child is born into ideal circumstances, every life matters. His Christian faith compels him to fight for the least among us and that starts with unborn children.
States that don't give rape and incest victims a choice are Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.