Planned Parenthood v. Urmanski

Case Name: Planned Parenthood v Urmanski

Type of Case: Constitutional Government and Rule of Law

Court: Supreme Court of Wisconsin

Filed On:  April 25th, 2024 

Current Status: WILL filed a response to Planned Parenthood’s motion seeking to define a right to an abortion in the Wisconsin Constitution. 

WILL Opposes New Effort from Planned Parenthood to Make Abortion a “Constitutional Right” in Wisconsin

April 2024 | WILL has filed a response to a case brought by Planned Parenthood seeking an original action ruling from the Supreme Court of Wisconsin (SCoW) that would create a constitutional right to an abortion in Wisconsin. WILL believes ruling in favor of Planned Parenthood would embroil SCOWIS in the same mess of policy questions that Roe v. Wade created.  

Where Would the Court Draw the Line? If the Wisconsin Supreme Court were to agree with Kaul, what would happen next? For example, would the prohibitions on abortions after viability, Wis. Stat. § 940.15, or after the unborn child can experience pain (defined in the statute as 20 weeks), Wis. Stat. § 253.107, also be unconstitutional? How about partial-birth abortions, or very late-term abortions? None of those prohibitions are challenged or at issue in this case, but if this Court constitutionalizes abortion, it will have to answer these questions sooner or later.

And if the Court’s answer is that any of these are ok, where does it draw the line and how does it justify that line? Does it reimpose Roe’s now-jettisoned “viability” line, which “has not found much support among philosophers and ethicists,” which “other countries almost uniformly eschew,” and which raises a host of other questions, such as what “probability of survival” counts as “viable”? Dobbs, 597 U.S. at 274–78.

Or does this Court impose some other arbitrary line, and if so, what line? A fetal heartbeat (weeks 5–6)? Brain activity (weeks 6–7)? Movement in the womb (8 weeks)? Organ function (week 10)? Facial expressions (weeks 10–12)?

Again, addressing this litany of questions should be reserved to the legislative process and a transparent debate from the state’s elected policy makers.

Rick Esenberg

Rick Esenberg

President and General Counsel

Luke Berg

Luke Berg

Deputy Counsel



Associate Counsel

Share This