On 44th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Republicans Continue Assault on Abortion Access

Laws at state level and threatened federal action move state and nation dangerously close to days of unsafe, back alley abortions

January 23, 2017

MADISON – Today marks the 44th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which established that women have a constitutional right to choose abortion. While this was a significant milestone for women’s reproductive freedom which we should celebrate today, Wisconsin women are instead faced with greater attacks on their right to medical privacy than at any other time since Roe. 44 years after the Roe v. Wade decision, the right to access safe and legal abortion not only remains under constant attack at the hands of Governor Scott Walker and legislative Republicans in Wisconsin, but President Trump and Republican legislators at the federal level threaten actions that are even more misguided and dangerous to the lives of women in Wisconsin and throughout the United States.

“Republicans continue to be relentless in their political attacks on access to women’s health care,” said Representative Lisa Subeck. “It is time for Republicans to start respecting women and stop interfering with decisions that should be made privately between a woman and her doctor, without the big hand of government dictating what it thinks is best. Instead, Republicans have elected a man to the highest office in the land whose admissions regarding his own treatment of women most certainly would have resulted in prosecution if he lacked celebrity or were a man of modest means.”

Since gaining control of both houses of the legislature and the Governor’s office in 2011, Republicans have enacted additional restrictions, including:

  • Forced ultrasounds for all women seeking abortions, regardless of medical necessity.
  • Requiring that abortion providers have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, a requirement not demanded of other health care providers.
  • Defunding of Planned Parenthood at the state level, forcing the closure of five Planned Parenthood clinics, leaving low-income and uninsured women throughout the state without access to family planning services, vital cancer screenings, or access to testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Repealed Wisconsin’s Healthy Youth Act, which had guaranteed that all sex-ed curriculum in our schools was comprehensive, age-appropriate, and medically and scientifically accurate.
  • Banned coverage of abortion in health care plans offered through the exchange established by the Affordable Care Act.
  • New restrictions on doctors providing medication abortions, resulting in the temporary suspension of all medication abortions in the state.
  • A ban on all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, even if a women’s health is in danger.
  • Reductions to funding for birth control provided by Planned Parenthood and other women’s health centers.
  • A move to hijack federal funding currently provided to Planned Parenthood and other women’s health centers for family planning services and preventative health care.


“The Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision was a critical milestone for women, yet Republicans are determined to turn back the clock on access to abortion and other women’s health care,” said Rep. Subeck. “The actions taken by Republicans have been a recipe for disaster, leaving Wisconsin women with just 3 abortion providers; located in 2 cities to serve the entire state. One need look no further than the time before Roe to recognize the deadly outcomes for women when safe and legal abortion care is not available. With each new Republican restriction on access to abortion and other reproductive health care, they bring us one step closer to the days when women died or suffered irreparable health consequences as the result of unsafe, back alley abortions.”