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Demonstrators hold signs outside the U.S. Supreme Court as the court is due to issue its first major abortion ruling since 2007 against a backdrop of unremitting divisions among Americans on the issue and a decades-long decline in the rate at which women terminate pregnancies in Washington June 27. — PHOTO: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Wisconsin reacts to Supreme Court ruling against anti-abortion law

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-3 on June 27 that Texas' anti-abortion law is unconstitutional. Here's reaction from Wisconsin:

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore: “I am thrilled by today’s Supreme Court ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. This case is certain to have a significant and positive impact on women throughout the country and I applaud the Court for standing on the side of women. Laws like Texas’ H. B. 2, a measure which made access to abortion care nearly impossible for many women, are simply ideological attempts to take away a woman’s right to make choices about her own body and future.
“Without a doubt, this case will affect other states attempting to pass, or that have already passed, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider laws (commonly known as ‘TRAP laws’). As we saw with 2013 Wisconsin Act 37, requiring doctors to have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital and subjecting women to intrusive and medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds, Wisconsin has not been immune to its share of TRAP laws. In the last year alone, Gov. Scott Walker signed two different bills with the goal to defund our state’s Planned Parenthood centers. These health clinics are vital to the well-being of our communities, with many low-income families depending on their life-saving services."

Teri Huyck, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin: "This landmark ruling is an enormous victory for women and families in Wisconsin and across the nation. We applaud the court’s ruling affirming that abortion is a decision that should be between a woman and her doctor and a decision that should be made without politicians interfering. Yet today’s victory does not undo the past five years of damage and restrictions already written into law. No woman or doctor should be punished for receiving or providing essential medical care. We will continue to fight restrictions on safe, legal abortion on behalf of our patients in Wisconsin."

State Sen. Jon Erpenbach: “The decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to protect a woman’s right to access reproductive health care in Whole Women’s Health v Hellerstedt is essential for our sisters, wives, mothers and daughters. Reproductive health care is basic health care for women. Texas passed laws that place barriers for many women seeking health care which violate the principles of the state and U.S. Constitution. Protecting access to reproductive health care where it is threatened is essential. I am so thankful there are those that continue to work for the basic rights of women in this country.”

One Wisconsin Institute executive director Scot Ross: “This decision protecting the rights of women is a powerful reminder of why courts matter. Women have the right to safe and legal abortion services and the underhanded attempts by politicians in Texas and here in Wisconsin, like Gov. Scott Walker and his Republican legislative cohorts, to strip away those rights have been ruled to be unconstitutional. A majority of the the U.S. Supreme Court sent a clear message to politicians that they ought to cease and desist with their attempt to interfere where they have no business. Women ought to be able to make their own healthcare decisions with their families and their health care providers, period.”

• Heather Weininger, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life: “In effect, the Supreme Court has decided that the abortion industry will continue to reign unchecked as mothers are subjected to subpar conditions, not only in Texas and Wisconsin, but around the country. Despite this disappointing decision, we at Wisconsin Right to Life will continue our work to offer hope to women. The abortion industry peddles death, but we in the pro-life movement offer life.”

State Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa: "The court’s ruling today is an incredible victory for women’s reproductive rights and a setback to the Republicans’ unrelenting war on women. The now-unconstitutional provisions of this Texas law would have required physicians who provide abortion services to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic, and would have also imposed regulations requiring clinics that provide abortions to become ambulatory surgical centers. Medical experts say that these two provisions would provide no medical value and will actually harm women by delaying access to medical care."

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos: “Today the court has put women's health and safety on the back burner for the profits of Planned Parenthood and abortion providers. I’m disappointed and frustrated with the decision as it disregards the intent of the law, which is similar to what we approved in Wisconsin. The admitting privileges requirement is intended to protect women's health. We must ensure women have access to safe health care no matter where you stand on the issue."

State Sen. Chris Larson: “The Supreme Court has powerfully reaffirmed a woman’s constitutional right to make her own decisions about her health, family, and future, no matter her zip code. Our neighbors – in Wisconsin and across the country – have the freedom to plan when they want to start a family and a right to protect themselves from unintended pregnancies. Draconian laws, like this and others pushed by legislative Republicans across the country, limit health care options and the opportunity for a woman to protect her health."

Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action: "We are proud of and thankful for Gov. Scott Walker and Attorney General Brad Schimel for defending our law and the women in our state. It's beyond unfortunate that five unelected and unaccountable lawyers in black robes put our law and our women in danger."

State Rep. Melissa Sargent: "I trust women to make their own healthcare decisions. The decision to end a pregnancy is deeply personal and should be made by women with the support of the family, faith and healthcare provider not by politicians. As we take time to celebrate this incredible win for access to reproductive care we must keep fighting for all women in Wisconsin — today, tomorrow, and for as long as it takes.”

Attorney General Brad Schimel: "Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a Texas abortion law is disappointing and undermines the respect due to policy makers. Wisconsin is defending a similar law in a case before the Supreme Court and we expect a decision in the near future."

State Rep. Chris Taylor: "This ruling is a great one for Texas women, as well as women in Wisconsin. I call on legislatures around the country, including our own right here in Wisconsin, to stop attacking women and to start working to reverse the damage done to women’s access to reproductive health care. Women have the right to control their personal, private health decisions without intrusion by politicians.”

Editor's note: This report will be updated with added reaction from the state.


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