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Abortion is generally illegal in Wisconsin, but state laws do not penalize those who get one.

Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion law, reinstated after the June 2022 repeal of Roe v. Wade, prohibits abortion except when “necessary to save the life of the mother.”

A 2011 state law required that abortion-inducing drugs be prescribed by a physician who examines the patient and is present when the pills are taken.

Both laws carry felony penalties for providers, but people who receive an abortion are exempted from any penalties. Wisconsinites may obtain the pills in a neighboring state where abortion is legal.

An April 7, 2023 ruling by a federal judge in Texas would revoke the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone, one of two main pills used in medication abortions. The decision is stayed to give the FDA time to appeal. 

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Wisconsin State Legislature 940.04 Abortion

Wisconsin State Legislature Prescription and use of abortion-inducing drug

Wisconsin Public Radio FDA OKs pharmacies to provide abortion pill, but in Wisconsin things are more complicated

Kaiser Family Foundation Q & A: Implications of Two Conflicting Federal Court Rulings on the Availability of Medication Abortion and the FDA’s Authority to Regulate Drugs

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Tom Kertscher / Wisconsin WatchFact Checker

Tom Kertscher joined as a Wisconsin Watch fact checker in January 2023 and contributes to our collaboration with the The Gigafact Project to fight misinformation online. Kertscher is a former longtime newspaper reporter, including at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has worked as a self-employed journalist since 2019. His gigs include contributing writer for PolitiFact and sports freelancer for The Associated Press.