Wisconsin's AG Josh Kaul responds to Planned Parenthood's abortion announcement

NOW: Wisconsin’s AG Josh Kaul responds to Planned Parenthood’s abortion announcement

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul is responding to Planned Parenthood's announcement that it will resume abortion services in Wisconsin next week.

Kaul says the uncertainty on where abortion law stands in Wisconsin is doing more harm than good.

In light of Planned Parenthood's announcement, Kaul provided an update on where the state's abortion lawsuit currently stands.

"We have consistently taken the position throughout this process that the 1849 law does not broadly criminalize abortion in Wisconsin. It can't be enforced in cases involving voluntary abortions, but the litigation continues," he said.

Wisconsin's 1849 law makes it a felony to perform an abortion at any stage of pregnancy unless the abortion is a life-saving measure for the mother.

AG Kaul filed a lawsuit last year to block the law as abortion providers stopped serving patients in Wisconsin.

Most Wisconsin DA's have said they won't prosecute anyone under the 1849 ban but not all. Kaul says this has left room for confusion.

"Over the past year and a few months now, access to safe and legal abortion has been unavailable to women in Wisconsin because of the uncertainty about where Wisconsin law stands. That has impacted countless lives of people in Wisconsin who have in some cases faced incredibly difficult decisions without access to the full scope of health care, that is an unacceptable situation," said Kaul.

Since Kaul's challenge to the abortion ban, he says progress has been made.

"It's vital that women in Wisconsin are able to make fundamental reproductive health care decisions. That's why we filed suit just days after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade," he said.

Kaul says his office is in the process of briefing its final request on the matter in the circuit court.

He's hopeful this will lead to clarity on the law and reproductive rights in Wisconsin.

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