WISCONSIN - Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Louisiana's attempt to block abortion access unconstitutional in June Medical Services LLC v. Russo.
The Court affirmed its 2016 ruling in Whole Woman's Health, where it struck down an identical law in Texas as an unconstitutional restriction on the right to access abortion care.
Tanya Atkinson, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, released the following statement:
"The U.S. Supreme Court has once again made it clear: abortion is healthcare and laws that burden the right to access care while providing no medical benefit are unconstitutional. The Louisiana law struck down here is identical to the law from Texas blocked by the Court in 2016 in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. A change of personnel on the Court does not change this outcome. This is great news for the people of Louisiana and our patients here. Abortion is safe and legal in Wisconsin.
"We know that too many people still face barriers to accessing abortion care, especially here in Wisconsin. PPWI is currently challenging three harmful, medically unnecessary, abortion restrictions in federal court. We are also calling on the State Legislature to pass the Abortion Access Protection Act and repeal our state's outdated criminal abortion ban from 1849 that outlaws women's access to all abortion. This law is unenforceable under Roe v. Wade and should be repealed immediately. We must also protect every patient's right to be treated with dignity and receive accurate medical information by passing common sense legislation like the Respect Women Act.
"Today's ruling is great news for our patients, but our work is not done. While we celebrate today, the fight for reproductive freedom for all is far from over. We will be there fighting every step of the way, until access to basic health care is both a right, and available to everyone - regardless of their race, income, location, or gender identity.
"Abortion is still safe and legal in Wisconsin and every state in America. PPWI is proud to offer safe, high quality and confidential abortion care at three health centers located in Milwaukee, Madison and Sheboygan (Medication Abortion or pill abortion services only at the Sheboygan location). To make an appointment for abortion services or family planning healthcare, call 1-800-230-7526 or visit ppwi.org."
CRANDON - The Forest County Humane Society works around the clock to help animals find forever homes. But taking care of those animals during their stay doesn't just take a lot of time; it takes a lot of money, too.
The shelter got a helping hand, thanks to a $35,000 grant from the ASPCA. It's part of an initiative to help brick-and-mortar shelters improve their animals' quality of life.
Shelter director Angie Schaefer says that money paid for 20 new cat-condos, fencing for two new dog yards, and several other much-needed supplies.
"We're small, we're in a small community, so to raise that kind of money to get these items would have been quite a task. For them to step in and do that for us is amazing," said Schaefer.
Schaefer said the extra yards will allow dogs to spend more time outside and socialize with each other.
If you're interested in volunteering or donating to the humane society, visit its website for more information.
MADISON, WI - Cigarette smoking rates have dropped since Wisconsin's Smoke-Free Indoor Air Law went into effect 10 years ago.
In 2008, before the law passed, 20% of Wisconsin adults smoked cigarettes. By 2018, the rate had dropped to 16%. High school youth cigarette smoking rates dropped from nearly 21% in 2008 to nearly 5% in 2018.
State cigarette taxes were also increased during this time period and contribute to this reduction.
"Wisconsin is breathing easier today thanks to this law, but we know there are many people in our state who still smoke," said DHS Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm. "We urge smokers to take advantage of the programs available to help them to quit, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people who smoke are believed to be more susceptible to the virus, and can become severely ill with it."
- The U.S. headed into the Fourth of July weekend with many parades and fireworks displays canceled, beaches and bars closed, and health authorities warning that this will be a crucial test of Americans' self-control that could determine the trajectory of the surging coronavirus outbreak.
With confirmed cases climbing in 40 states, governors and local officials have ordered the wearing of masks in public, and families were urged to celebrate their independence at home. Even then, they were told to keep their backyard cookouts small.
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