WI AG Says He Won’t Enforce 172-Year-Old Abortion Statute If Roe Is Upended

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul won’t enforce an abortion statute in Wisconsin if the federal Supreme Court decides to overturn it next year.

The High Court will decide if it will uphold abortion protections that were established under the 1973 Act. Roe v. Wade decision. Discussions in a case seeking dismantlement began earlier this month. Roe It was noted that Conservative members of the Court were willing to reduce or eliminate completelyThe landmark decision that was almost 50 years ago and the protections it afforded.

If Roe It is upended More than 20 states in the U.S. have decided to severely restrict or prohibit abortion access.In their jurisdictions. Wisconsin is one of them. Wisconsin still has an 1849 statute in place that prohibits abortion. Anyone who provides abortion services in the State can be fined up to $10,000 or sentenced for up to six years in prison under the law, which hasn’t been enforced since Roe Was voted.

Interview with The Associated Press This week, Kaul, who was elected in 2018, stated in a published statement that he would not investigate or pursue anyone in Wisconsin for having an unplanned pregnancy, should the Supreme Court overturn abortion rights.

To what extent Wisconsin’s 172-year-old law on abortion would be enforceable would depend on the Supreme Court’s final ruling on the matter. But even if the state’s law from 1849 returns in full force, Kaul said he wouldn’t pursue any charges at the state level if it is violated.

“Even if courts were to interpret that law as being enforceable, as attorney general I would not use the resources of the Wisconsin Department of Justice either to investigate alleged violations of that abortion ban or to prosecute alleged violations of it,” Kaul said.

Kaul defended his position by stating that his office focuses on more serious crimes like homicide or sexual assault.

“Diverting resources from those important cases to the kinds of cases that could be brought under abortion ban, which I also believe to be unconstitutional, is not something that I would do as attorney general,” he said.

Enforcement of the state’s law would “result in serious negative health consequences, including potentially the death of women who wanted to seek to exercise what for nearly 50 years been understood to be a constitutionally protected right,” Kaul added.

Abortion would be equally dangerous for nonbinary women, trans men, and other people who are not females.

Wisconsin is already a highly restrictive stateWhen it comes to accessing abortions, To obtain an abortion, a person must first go through several hoops.

A person must be provided with state-directed counseling. This includes propaganda designed to discourage people from having an abortion. They must then wait at least 24 hours after that counseling occurs before they’re allowed to return to a clinic. Before an abortion can be performed, a person must have an ultrasound. The provider must show and describe the image to the patient.

Kaul’s statement, while admirable, may not matter for many places in the state, as county-level district attorneys could still use the 172-year-old statute to prosecute abortion providers in their areas, the AP reported.

Wisconsin residents, by-and-large, don’t want abortion access to be curtailed. A Marquette Law School poll in late OctoberFor example, 61 percent of residents say they want abortion legal in all or most cases. Only 34 percent want it to be illegal.

Kaul is up for reelection next year at a time when many predict that abortion rights will become a main issue in midterm racesDepending on how the Supreme Court rules next Summer, it could be. Kaul defeated Brad Schimel (the incumbent Republican candidate), by a narrow margin in his election victory three years ago. by just 0.8 percent(or less that 20,000 votes).