43rd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade: Women Are at Risk When Access to Abortion is Restricted
The reality for women in Wisconsin today is stark.
MADISON — On the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we reflect on the grim reality of abortion access for women in Wisconsin: ninety-six percent of Wisconsin counties have no abortion provider and 67 percent of Wisconsin women live in those counties. There are over a dozen state laws restricting access to abortion. We have seen the devastating consequences in Wisconsin and the lengths to which Gov. Scott Walker’s administration is willing to go to push unconstitutional mandates on the right to safe, legal abortion care. The reality for women in Wisconsin today is stark. With new women’s health restrictions being enacted every day and a significant U.S. Supreme Court case on abortion access, the stakes for 2016 could not be higher.
According to new data from Guttmacher, politicians at the state level have passed 288 restrictions on safe, legal abortion since the 2011. In fact, one-quarter of all abortion restrictions enacted since Roe have been passed in the last 5 years – despite the public’s overwhelming support for women’s access to safe, legal abortion. In Wisconsin, we have seen five abortion restrictions since Gov. Walker has taken office. The most recent restriction prohibits physicians from offering medically appropriate abortion care later in pregnancy, which in Wisconsin is incredibly rare and only happens in the most tragic of circumstances. This law means that even if a woman is experiencing severe health complications or lethal fetal anomalies she cannot make her own decision regarding her health and pregnancy. This law was passed despite overwhelming opposition from medical experts and Wisconsin women.
“Today, we are reminded of why Roe matters and the real world impact restrictions have on women seeking safe and legal abortion,” stated Tanya Atkinson executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin. “Women like Christine who needed an abortion to save her life but had to wait 24 hours due to state law, now will not even be able to get the care they need in Wisconsin. As a healthcare provider, we agree with the majority of Wisconsinites that that politicians should not be involved in a woman’s personal medical decisions about her pregnancy. Planned Parenthood has proudly served the health care needs of our patients for 80 years, and we will continue to fight for every woman’s right to make her own personal decisions.”
Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans support access to safe and legal abortion and Planned Parenthood. Since July, there have been 14 national polls measuring support for Planned Parenthood–and every single one of them show strong support for Planned Parenthood and access to reproductive health care. A recent Bloomberg Politics national poll found that 67 percent of Americans surveyed said the Supreme Court was right to rule that women have a constitutional right to abortion and agree with the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. A VOX/PerryUndem poll found that more Americans consider themselves pro-choice than pro-life. Sixty-eight percent of Millennials don’t want to see Roe overturned, and 72 percent of Republicans think abortion should be available for a woman when and if she needs it.
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin is the advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.
PPAWI engages in legislative and educational activity and works to elect candidates to office that support these goals.
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