Planned Parenthood plans to resume abortion services in Sheboygan

NOW: Planned Parenthood plans to resume abortion services in Sheboygan

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- After reopening their doors to abortion services this past week in Madison and Milwaukee, Planned Parenthood said they are working to resume services at the Sheboygan clinic soon. 

Planned Parenthood officials told CBS 58 they're planning to again offer medical abortions at the Sheboygan location once they resolve a staffing issue.

"We are meeting very regularly to assess our staffing with physicians and availability capacities," said Michelle Valasquez, director of legal advocacy at Planned Parenthood Wisconsin. 

Valasquez did not provide an exact date on when they will reopen. 

Since last Monday, Planned Parenthood resumed the procedure at clinics in Dane and Milwaukee County following a court ruling that stated consensual abortions are not illegal in Wisconsin. 

However, resuming the practice in Sheboygan could be problematic. That's because Sheboygan County District Attorney Joel Urmanski has said he would prosecute doctors who violate the 1849 ban. Urmanski was not immediately available for comment.

Pro-Life Wisconsin and other anti-abortion groups were skeptical of Planned Parenthoods decision. 

"We believe the reason they are not doing abortions in Sheboygan County is because District Attorney Urmanski would not allow them to do it and he would enforce statute," said Matt Sande, Pro-Life Wisconsin legislative director. "So, we'll have to see how bold Planned Parenthood is and what they do." 

Sande and other anti-abortion groups believe it's illegal for health care professionals to carry out the procedure because of a pending lawsuit that seeks to determine whether the state's 1849 abortion ban is enforceable.

Attorney General Josh Kaul brought forth that challenge in the days after Roe v. Wade was overturned in an attempt to repeal the 174-year-old law.

On Tuesday, Pro-Life Wisconsin, Wisconsin Right to Life and Wisconsin Family Action called on district attorneys in Dane and Milwaukee County to enforce the state's law outlawing abortions in all cases except to save a mother's life. Both DAs have previously vowed to not criminalize doctors who perform abortions. 

"Let the litigation play out. That's what it's intended to do," said Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm. "That's a law that hasn't been enforced in 50 years and it demands clear guidance from the courts."

Sande and other advocates said they are not planning on taking any legal action to halt abortion services but reiterated they are keeping their options open. 

In July, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Diane Schlipper indicated in motion to dismiss Kaul's lawsuit that the 1849 ban doesn't apply to consensual abortions, which prompted Planned Parenthood to resume services.

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