By Bridget Sielicki
A Wisconsin County District Attorney has filed an appeal against a judge’s early December ruling that the state’s 1849 statute does not protect preborn children from abortion.
The 1849 statute in question reads, “Any person, other than the mother, who intentionally destroys the life of an unborn child is guilty of a Class H felony.” While many have taken that clause to refer to abortion, Dane County Circuit Judge Diane Schlipper ruled that the 174-year-old law applies to feticide (an act of homicide against a fetus committed by someone other than the child’s mother), but not abortion (initiated by the child’s mother).
In the wake of Schlipper’s ruling, Sheboygan County District Attorney Joel Urmanski filed a notice of appeal Tuesday asking the 2nd District Court of Appeals to hear the case.
“[A]s I have repeatedly stated, it is my view that, properly interpreted, the statute at issue prohibits performing abortions (including consensual abortions) unless the exception for abortions necessary to save the life of the mother applies,” he said. “My position in this case is guided by my understanding of the law, not my own personal values or preferences.”
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the status of abortion has been in a back-and-forth state since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022. Initially, the downfall of Roe meant the 1849 statute went into effect and abortions were halted, prompting Democratic Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul to file a lawsuit against the law to have it thrown out altogether.
In September, Schlipper indicated that she would rule in favor of Evers and Kaul, which prompted abortion businesses to resume committing abortions.
Because the status of abortion has been so unclear in relation to the law, Urmanski has asked the state Supreme Court to take the case directly, which would bypass the appellate level.
“I believe it would be in the best interests of the State as a whole for this issue to be considered and resolved by our Supreme Court immediately,” Urmanski said.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and is reposted with permission.