Tag Archives: response

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.


Milwaukee police take 3 hours to respond to sex assault

An 82-year-old woman waited three hours for Milwaukee police to respond to her call for help after she was sexually assaulted, according to police department records.

The department has been criticized for long response times in the past, and a spokesman acknowledged this one was “excessive.”

Earlier this month, the woman was knocked to the ground by a stranger and sexually assaulted after she got off a bus near her home in Milwaukee, according to records obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. After walking home, the woman called 911. The call was initially given top priority, but after the woman refused to have paramedics come to her home for medical care her call was downgraded, according to the records.

The victim at one point told a dispatcher she had refused medical treatment because she was worried about paying an ambulance bill. The woman, who has difficulty with her sight, then called police again and asked if she could take a shower. The dispatcher advised her not to in order to preserve evidence.

Ninety minutes after the first call, a dispatcher notified the supervisor that no squad car had been sent to the woman’s house. The sergeant said that squads were busy with other calls, according to the records obtained by the newspaper. Another hour and 20 minutes passed and the victim called again, asking if a squad car was coming.

After three hours and six minutes, a squad responded and the woman was taken to a sexual assault treatment center.

Police spokesman Lt. Mark Stanmeyer said the case is under review.

“The Milwaukee Police Department is reviewing both our dispatch prioritization protocol and the handling of this specific call for service to ensure policy was followed and determine whether policy revision is needed, as the time from the initial call to the police and the dispatch of a squad was excessive,” he said.

About a year ago, Police Chief Edward Flynn vowed to improve response times after it took officers 22 minutes to respond to the report of a fatal stabbing. At the time, police said they were investigating a separate stabbing in which the response also was delayed.

Stephen Ray Robinson, a 28-year-old from Milwaukee, was charged Friday with two counts of sexual assault and one count of aggravated battery. The complaint says he admitted to attacking the woman and told police he walked away when she started yelling for God. Online court records don’t list an attorney for Robinson.

S.C. Dems to Nikki Haley: No junk food for governor’s mansion

Lawmakers in South Carolina are trying to keep junk food out of the governor’s mansion.

The move was a response to the governor’s efforts to fight obesity by limiting what people can buy with money from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, known more commonly as food stamps.

State senators inserted a clause in the 2013-14 budget plan that would bar Gov. Nikki Haley’s office and the Governor’s Mansion from buying junk food with public money, whether for employee treats or entertaining.

Those efforts need federal approval before being implemented.

Democratic Sen. Darrell Jackson of Columbia pushed for the provision. He says it’s only fair for Haley to implement with her staff the healthy purchasing she’s promoting for poor people.

Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey says Jackson is playing political games with a serious health epidemic.