Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin pauses abortions following Supreme Court ruling

WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin announced Friday that they will temporarily suspend abortion services following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

"When the ruling came down, we had to go out to those individuals who were in our waiting room and say we're so sorry, that decision you made for yourself, family, future is no longer your decision to make here in Wisconsin...instead the leaders in our Legislature made that decision," said Tanya Atkinson, president and CEO at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin is now working with patients to connect them to resources in other states where abortion is still legal. Illinois, for example, will become a safe haven for those seeking services. Providers in Wisconsin are planning to travel to Illinois to assist with the increased demand coming. 

In the meantime, Planned Parenthood clinics across Wisconsin had to turn away patients who were seeking services Friday. Dr. Kathy King, medical director at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, said she's devastated.

"Between today and tomorrow, we had close to 70 patients who were scheduled. This morning, we began to provide services and were able to see four patients today. The remainder of our patients, we had to unfortunately tell them we could not provide the abortion," said King.

Pro-life groups, however, are rejoicing. 

"In every abortion, an innocent human life is taken," said Anna DeMeuse, communications director for Pro-Life Wisconsin. She said this is the day they've been waiting for.

"For 30 years, we've been advocating for a culture of life here in Wisconsin from the moment of conception," said DeMeuse. She says this is a victory but there's still much work to be done to ensure there's no gray area in the law.

DeMeuse says Pro-Life Wisconsin will continue to advocate for pre-born children.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin says although abortion services are not available in Wisconsin for now, their doors will remain open for patient care. This includes helping patients access safe abortion care where it remains legal, offering travel assistance and providing follow-up care when they return home. 

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