Key issues • Wisconsin

Wisconsin governor calls special session to repeal 1849-era abortion ban

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced that he is calling a special session of the state legislature … to repeal a criminal abortion ban dating back to 1849 which suspended some abortion services in the state after the Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade in June.

“In Wisconsin, we still have an 1800s-era criminal abortion ban on the books that originated before the Civil War and when Wisconsin women did not have the right to vote, which could ban nearly all abortions, including in cases of rape and incest, if it goes back into effect,” Evers said in a statement on social media.

The Democratic governor had called a special session earlier this year, before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, to repeal the then-dormant law. The Republican-controlled state legislature gaveled in and out of the special session without holding any discussion. Days later, the Supreme Court released its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, effectively overturning Roe. Abortion providers in Wisconsin have since suspended services amid the threat of prosecution.

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