Two Wisconsin Democratic lawmakers announced legislation Wednesday to protect and expand reproductive rights in Wisconsin.
The Reproductive Freedom Act, co-authored by Democratic Sen. Kelda Roys and Rep. Francesca Hong, both of Madison, will restore the ability for individuals to make their own pregnancy health care decisions by removing political restrictions and bans on abortion care that currently impact doctor-patient relationships, according to a Wednesday press release.
After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, Wisconsin reverted back to a near-total 1849 abortion ban. Following the court’s decision, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin chose to temporarily suspend abortion services in the state.
In July 2023, Dane County Circuit Judge Diane Schlipper ruled the ban did not apply to abortion procedures, prompting Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin to resume abortion services at three of its locations in the state this fall.
The legislation ensures publicly funded pregnancy counseling facilities notify patients of all their pregnancy options and guarantees health care providers give patients medically accurate information.
“Wisconsinites overwhelmingly agree: patients, not politicians, should make decisions about their own reproductive care,” Roys said in the press release. “Today, we’re ensuring Wisconsinites have the right to make their own reproductive decisions without being coerced, misled or criminalized.”
Hong described the legislation as an “embodiment of our commitment as legislators to safeguarding the autonomy of patients and their access to essential healthcare services,”and stressed the “fundamental” importance of bodily autonomy in the press release.
“At its core, the ability to make decisions about one’s reproductive health is a fundamental human right, and it is intimately tied to an individual’s sense of self-determination and agency,” Hong said.
It is likely the Schlipper decision will appear before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, leaving the future of access to abortion services within the state uncertain.
Through the Reproductive Freedom Act, Wisconsinites would have guaranteed access to abortion services for the first time since Roe v. Wade was overturned.
“By upholding personal autonomy in matters of reproductive justice, we foster a society where individuals are not merely recipients of health care services but active participants in their own well-being,” Hong said.
Anna Kleiber is a state news reporter for The Daily Cardinal.