Wisconsin's abortion laws, compared nationally, fall around the middle of the pack but with a definite bent toward pro-life legislation.
The state ranks at No. 18 on Americans United for Life's
state-by-state comparison of abortion laws.
Wisconsin has a near-total abortion ban in place, but it is unenforceable due to the 1973 Roe V. Wade ruling. Thirteen other states also have near-total abortion bans on the books — Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma and West Virginia — all of them unenforceable.
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Abortion laws in Wisconsin carry several restrictions including state-mandated counseling, a 24-hour waiting period, and a mandatory ultrasound.
Nationally, the state is among 22 others that require a 24-hour wait and among 24 that have an ultrasound requirement.
Minors in Wisconsin seeking an abortion must get parental consent, or a sibling who is 25 years or older can also give consent. A judge can wave such a requirement for a minor. In addition, only licensed physicians can perform abortions in Wisconsin.
The abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America gave Wisconsin
a D-plus on choice-related laws in a national ranking.
Wisconsin ranked 15th for abortion access restrictions in a national comparison by the Guttmacher Institue
. Oklahoma was ranked No. 1 with the most abortion restrictions, while Oregon had the fewest.
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Nationally, 89 percent of all counties in the U.S. have no abortion clinics. Nintey-six percent of counties in Wisconsin also have no abortion clinic, Guttmacher noted.
In July 2015, state lawmakers approved and Gov. Scott Walker signed into law a 20-week abortion ban, making Wisconsin the 14th state with such legislation.
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