Wisconsin state Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, is proposing a bill to eliminate an outdated state statute that criminalizes abortion.
Risser is reviving a push to eliminate the statute on the grounds that it is unenforceable, according to a Senate press release.The law is still on the books, despite being rendered obsolete by the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade.
Risser, the longest-serving state legislator in the country and a longtime advocate for abortion rights, has put out a notice seeking co-sponsors for his bill. The bill is not expected to pass the Republican-controlled legislature.
The Legislature has recently passed multiple bills limiting access to abortion, including a bill signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker in July that bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Last week, the Senate passed a bill designed to defund Planned Parenthood and divert funds to other health providers in the state.
Risser’s bill would reverse the trend toward restricting abortion access.
“It is time to take this harsh and obsolete law out of our books. Abortion is a routine medical procedure that should be safe and accessible to all women,” Risser said in the statement.
In Democrats’ past attempts to eliminate the criminal abortion statute, Republicans have argued that the law should remain in place in case the Supreme Court overrules its Roe v. Wade decision.