Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin was in federal court Monday challenging three state abortion restrictions that the organization believes unconstitutionally limits access to care.
If successful, the lawsuit would broaden the ability to have an abortion in Wisconsin, particularly in rural areas of the state, where the procedure is not available.
Planned Parenthood provides abortion care at three of its 21 locations in Wisconsin: Madison; Milwaukee; and Sheboygan.
Tanya Atkinson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, said deciding to start a family, delay becoming a parent, or end a pregnancy are personal decisions.
“It’s our responsibility, and we are always looking for ways to ensure people have access to the health care they need,” Atkinson said. “Part of that means that if we prevail in this lawsuit, we could expand (abortion) access to other parts of the state.”
The lawsuit was filed in January 2019 and challenges several Republican-backed state laws, including one that allows only doctors to perform abortions. The group argues advance practice nurses, including nurse practitioners and midwives, should be able to perform abortions.
Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, a pro-life organization based in Madison, said claims that women don’t have access to abortions are untrue.
“We believe this is a dangerous road for the state to go down,” Appling said. “Medical abortion is not without risk. If Planned Parenthood prevails, and they open up all of their sites to do these, women will suffer from that, and certainly their unborn children will be killed because of the courts.”