Planned Parenthood Files Federal Suit to Restore Medical Options for Wisconsin Women


According to reporting by the Wisconsin State Journal, Wisconsin Medical Society President Dr. Tosha Wetterneck said Wisconsin Act 217 is an "unprecedented intrusion into the patient-doctor relationship" and requires doctors to follow procedures that are not considered to be the best medical practices.

Wisconsin Act 217 was opposed by leading members of the medical community including the Wisconsin Medical Society, the Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians, the WI section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Planned Parenthood, and the Medical College of Wisconsin. The passage of Act 217 was only supported by special interest groups that don’t provide any medical care and whose only goal is to outlaw all abortion in Wisconsin, including Pro-Life Wisconsin, Wisconsin Right to Life and the WI Catholic Conference.

There are currently two different ways for a woman to have an abortion: surgical abortion, and nonsurgical abortion using medication (also known as the abortion pill). Medical studies have found that both types of abortion are effective, safe, medically sound, and cost the same amount; but nonsurgical abortion is less invasive and can only be performed up to nine weeks in the pregnancy. Nonsurgical abortion using the abortion pill is only available from a doctor during the first 9 weeks or 63 days of pregnancy. The abortion pill should not be confused with Emergency Contraception, also known as the Morning-After Pill, which is a contraceptive method that is available over the counter and by prescription to prevent pregnancy up to 5 days after unprotected sex.

In 2011, approximately 45 percent of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin patients who wanted to end their pregnancies chose to have a nonsurgical abortion using medication. Since Act 217 became effective in April, this very personal decision about how to end a pregnancy was taken away from women.

Planned Parenthood is in court to restore a woman’s access safe and legal comprehensive reproductive care and to put this decision back where it belongs – in a woman’s hands, in consultation with her family and her faith, with the counsel of her doctor. Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin is represented in the case Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin vs. J.B. Van Hollen, et al. by the Wisconsin firm Cullen, Weston, Pines and Bach.

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Get more information on the lawsuit filed to restore nonsurgical abortion services at PPWI

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