Earlier this month, the US Supreme Court declined to block Senate Bill 8, Texas’ extreme new law banning access to most abortions. People throughout the nation reacted with horror as this country’s highest court gutted the right of pregnant Texans to exercise control over their bodies, turning a blind eye to nearly fifty years of constitutional precedent without so much as an explanation.
Messages of support and solidarity with pregnant individuals in Texas came pouring in almost as soon as news of the decision surfaced publicly. Our thoughts are first and foremost with those directly impacted -- the millions of Texas women and pregnant people who had their freedom to choose, one of the most profoundly personal and private rights Americans have, taken from them literally overnight. The ban prohibits abortion as early as six weeks into a pregnancy — before most are even aware that they’re pregnant. It effectively outlaws 85 to 90 percent of all abortions in the state and would allow ordinary citizens to sue anyone they suspect of “abetting” someone seeking an abortion. A $10,000 reward backs this vigilante-esque enforcement program for successful lawsuits.
The good news, if you can even call it that, is that abortion is currently still legal everywhere outside of Texas, including in Wisconsin. We want every Wisconsinite to know that they can still get an abortion. The Court’s ruling did not overturn Roe. v Wade, it argued that the emergency petition filed by abortion advocates asking for SB 8 to be blocked was procedurally unsound.
But even though Roe v. Wade and legal protections for abortion in Wisconsin remain intact for the time being, that doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Anti-abortion politicians and judges could roll back abortion rights in Wisconsin. Below we’ve attempted to answer some important questions regarding the SCOTUS ruling and clarify what it means for the people of Wisconsin.