abortion

Jade Hrdi

Pro-life advocates from the Milwaukee area are taking their message to Washington D.C. for Friday’s annual march. It’s been 44 years since the Roe versus Wade Supreme Court decision that affirmed women’s right to have abortions. WUWM’s caught up with a few people headed to D.C. to ask them about their hopes.

Marchers — many of them women — are descending on Washington, D.C., to send a message about abortion to the Trump administration and the Republican-led Congress.

If that sounds like déjà vu, it's not: What the organizers call the March for Life is a protest against legalized abortion, unlike the Women's March last week, which included support for abortion rights in its platform.

A different kind of march

It's President Donald Trump's first official act on the abortion issue. On Monday, the new president signed a presidential memorandum reinstating the "Mexico City" policy — barring U.S. aid from any group that provides or "promotes" abortion overseas. The policy dates to 1984, when Ronald Reagan unveiled it at a United Nations Conference in Mexico City. The Trump version is even broader than the incarnations that previous Republican presidents have adopted.

What does this mean in practice? To help make sense of it we've put together an FAQ.

The abortion rate in the United States fell to its lowest level since the historic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalized abortion nationwide, a new report finds.

The report by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports legalized abortion, puts the rate at 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age (ages 15-44) in 2014. That's the lowest recorded rate since the Roe decision in 1973. The abortion rate has been declining for decades — down from a peak of 29.3 in 1980 and 1981.

ANDREW BURTON/GETTY IMAGES

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin announced on Monday that it would keep its abortion clinic in Appleton closed. The reason for this, the organization says, is domestic terrorism. While some abortion opponents denounce threats of violence, they’re glad the clinic won’t reopen.

There are two abortion providers in the state - Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services, which only operates in Milwaukee.

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The U.S. Supreme Court has told the State of Wisconsin that justices won't weigh in on Wisconsin's law, requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

In a decision striking down key aspects of a Texas abortion law Monday, the Supreme Court cast doubt on similar laws in nearly two-dozen states.

The Supreme Court has overturned a Texas law requiring clinics that provide abortions to have surgical facilities and doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The law was predicted to close many clinics and further reduce availability of abortion in Texas; the court has ruled the law violated the Constitution.

Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel met Tuesday's deadline for asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a state abortion law, insisting the state should be able to enforce it.  

The law Wisconsin Republicans passed in 2013 requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

Two federal courts have declared the law unconstitutional.

sudok1, fotolia

The rule requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, but a federal appeals court on Monday declared the law unconstitutional.

Supporters of the law claimed it would ensure the safety of women undergoing abortion in the event complications developed.

Opponents, including Planned Parenthood, challenged the law insisting it could force some clinics to close and thereby restrict women's abortion rights.

Monday's ruling by a three-judge panel upholds the decision a federal judge in Madison issued this spring.

Flickr/althouse

It would become a felony in Wisconsin to sell or experiment with remains of fetuses aborted after 2014 under a bill an Assembly committee approved Wednesday morning. Researchers could still use cell lines and tissue obtained before this year in their quest to treat diseases.

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

(UPDATE: On Thursday, Sept. 24, the state Assembly approved the bill on a 60-35 vote, with all Republicans voting in favor, and all Democrats against.  The item now heads to the state Senate.)

Under a Republican bill, the state of Wisconsin would apply for federal Title X funding and direct it away from Planned Parenthood. Title X covers the cost of reproductive health care for low-income people, including contraception and treatment for sexually-transmitted diseases.

Wisconsin's State Capitol
Flickr.com/pinchof

Two Republican state lawmakers want to ban the sale of fetal tissue and create rules for its disposal.

The proposal comes on the heels of a controversial hidden camera video that a California group shot. It shows a conversation between a Planned Parenthood medical director in California and people who are, unbeknownst to her, abortion opponents. They pretend they’re interested in purchasing fetal specimens, and discuss prices.

The video outraged abortion opponents, such as Matt Sande, director of legislation for Pro-Life Wisconsin.

flickr.com

Wisconsin is one signature away from having a new abortion law – Gov. Walker’s signature.

In June, the state Senate advanced an abortion bill. On Thursday, the Assembly approved it. All 61 Republicans voted in favor; all 34 Democrats, against.

The measure would ban non-emergency abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The bill does not provide exceptions for pregnancies resulting from sexual assault or incest. And, doctors who perform a non-emergency abortion after 20 weeks could get up to 3.5 years in prison.

Wisconsin's State Capitol
Ann Althouse, Flickr

Republican lawmakers believe a fetus can feel pain 20 weeks after fertilization. They say they base their point of view on the opinions of doctors they trust.  

So the legislators are considering prohibiting most abortions after 20 weeks.

Right now, Wisconsin bans most abortions after viability – about 24 weeks.

Democratic critics of the ban say scientific research concludes fetuses cannot feel pain until later in a pregnancy.

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