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Wisconsin Abortion Laws

Summary

Abortion is legal in Wisconsin while a challenge to a statewide ban is pending in state court.

Introduction

In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which returned to the states the power to regulate, even prohibit, abortion. Wisconsin has a law from 1849 on the books (Section 940.04) that prohibits  abortions. That law is currently subject to legal challenge. In December, 2023, a state judge ruled that the 1849 law does not ban "consensual abortions."  That decision is on appeal.  However, abortion providers have continued to provide their services in the state.  This area of law is highly fluid.

Below is a summary of Wisconsin abortion laws. See FindLaw's Abortion section for more general information, including the history of abortion law in the U.S.

Code Section 940.04
Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion (1) Intentionally destroys life of unborn child; (2) causes death of mother during procedure; 
Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion Necessary to save life of mother or advised by two other M.D.s as necessary
Penalty for Unlawful Abortion Person other than mother performs abortion: Class H felony; mother dies or intentionally destroys life of unborn quick child: Class E felony
Physician Licensing Requirements Licensed M.D., licensed maternity hospital except in medical emergency

Note: State laws are constantly changing — contact a Wisconsin attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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