Wisconsin Planned Parenthood halts abortions after ruling

Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin immediately halted all scheduled abortions at its clinics in Madison and Milwaukee following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling striking down the Roe v. Wade decision on Friday.

Wisconsin has an 1849 law that bans abortion, except to save the life of the mother, but whether that law is enforceable was expected to be the center of yet-to-be-filed lawsuits. Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, a Democrat, said he would have news next week about next steps in reaction to the court's ruling.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin President Tanya Atkinson said in a statement that the group will now focus on getting patients in Wisconsin access to "safe abortion care where it remains legal, offering travel assistance, and providing appropriate follow-up care when they return home."

A Republican candidate for governor, Tim Michels, earlier this week called on Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to put the Wisconsin National Guard on alert in the event of violent protests. The office of an anti-abortion group in Madison was vandalized last month and no one has been arrested.

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On Wednesday, Wisconsin's Republican-controlled Legislature refused to overturn the state's ban as Evers called on them to do. Evers is making abortion rights a pillar of his reelection campaign, as are Democrats looking to take on Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson.