NEWSFLASH: Medical Abortions No Longer an Option in Wisconsin Planned Parenthoods

Under increased anti-choice pressure from the state, Planned Parenthood has suspended all medical abortions at its Wisconsin clinics.

The suspension comes two weeks after Gov. Scott Walker signed a law that levies felony charges at abortion doctors who fail to conform to the state’s newly installed guidelines. The guidelines require a woman seeking medical abortions to visit the clinic three different times–in order to prove she is not being coerced–before taking the RU-486 pill.

RU-486, commonly referred to as the “abortion pill,” is usually taken in the first nine weeks of a woman’s pregnancy. For many women, it’s the preferred method of terminating a pregnancy because it can be done in the comfort and privacy of their own homes. According to Planned Parenthood Wisconsin, medical abortions account for 25 percent of abortions in the state.

Planned Parenthood Wisconsin made the decision to end medical abortions at its clinics because the law puts doctors at risk, said public policy director Nicole Safar. She called the law “one more piece of very anti-women health legislation” because of its criminalizing intent.

Access to abortion is already extremely limited in Wisconsin, which requires mandatory counseling, a 24-hour waiting period and parental consent for minors. There are only five private abortion clinics in the state, three of which are run by Planned Parenthood.

Anti-abortion advocates, such as the Wisconsin Right to Life, claim this law protects domestic violence victims from being coerced into abortions. But by limiting options and resources for women seeking abortions—especially those from low-income backgrounds—the state of Wisconsin is practicing its own form of reproductive coercion: keeping unwilling women pregnant.

Photo of the 2010 opening of Planned Parenthood’s South Madison clinic from Flickr user ibm4381 from Creative Commons 3.0.


  1. Wisconsin Anarcha-Feminist says:

    THIS ARTICLE IS INCORRECT, BUT THERE IS STILL BAD NEWS! I am from Wisconsin and am sickened by the recent attacks on women (equal pay was repealed, abstinence-only sex education is being implemented, private insurance cannot cover abortion expenses, just to name the most recent). SURGICAL ABORTIONS ARE STILL LEGAL, but “PILL-INDUCED ABORTIONS” HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED by Planned Parenthood using the RU-486 pill. DOCTORS FACE FELONY CHARGES for providing this option to women if they do not follow strict and confusing requirements to show that a woman is not being “forced” to have an abortion under the threat of domestic violence. Surgical abortions and emergency contraception are still legal. Here is a much better article that explains what these requirements are and Act 217:

    • Hi, thanks for the article– except, how is ours incorrect? Medical abortions are non-surgical, “pill-induced” abortions. If you read our article again, we never say surgical abortions are illegal.

      If you want more info on medical abortions, here’s the Planned Parenthood site:

      So once again, medical abortions are non-surgical, pill-induced abortions.

      • Kathleen Clohessy says:

        I think the term “medical abortion” is a confusing one. I am a feminist, a nurse and an informed voter, but I did not understand the terminology..I assumed “medical abortion” meant an abortion performed in a medical facility, not one induced by taking a medicine vs one induced by surgical intervention.

        The correct way to discuss the issue would be to simply say that abortions using RU486 carry stringent restrictions that do not apply to surgical abortions.

        With that said I’d like to add the comment that this is the biggest load of bullshit I’ve ever seen in my life. As Germaine Greer said 35 years ago, “If men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament!”

        • Kathleen Clohessy says:

          Replying to my own post to apologize for the profanity…This injustice and depraved indifference to the rights of women just infuriates me.I lived through the years when abortion was illegal and saw the lives that were saved, one of which was my own, by Roe v Wade. It makes me sick to see how these corrupt politicians and the religious zealots they represent have stomped all over the hard won rights of women in this country. I just pray that young women today understand exactly how much they are losing and are willing to fight to keep what they have. Going back is NOT an option.

        • Lauren Barbato says:

          Hi Kathleen, thanks for your input. I thought it was common knowledge that medical abortions were pill-induced, since it’s the correct term (and one Google search will tell you all you need to know), but I understand it’s also a confusing term. Because so much misinformation on reproductive rights has been spreading around the Internet, we want to be as medically accurate as possible. Also, that quote couldn’t be more true!

  2. Lover Girl says:

    This makes want to cry. Such stupidity in the corrupt stupid government.

  3. Kathleen Clohessy says:

    Don’t cry, damn it, VOTE!! Vote Walker out of office and fight to make sure he is prosecuted for his corruption. Illinois sent Blogoyavich to prison and Walker will go, too if we stand united against him.

  4. A little confused by WI governor’s intention here…he thinks it’s a good idea to bring a child into a home where the woman is either abused or lives under threat of abuse? Does he think having another mouth to feed is going to make an abuser suddenly melt into a sweet little kitten? If a husband doesn’t want that child and is threatening to abuse a woman who doesn’t get an abortion, what do you think he’s gonna do to his wife as she grows, or that child when it arrives? The problem with anti-choice zealots is that they don’t want to think about the consequences of the rules they so desperately seek to force on other people.

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