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Wisconsin

Restrictions on Young Women's Access to Abortion

Wisconsin law restricts young women's access to abortion.

Is the law enforceable?  Yes.

Who is considered a minor?  A young woman under the age of 18 who has never been married or previously given birth or freed from the care, custody, and control of her parents.

What is required - parental consent or parental notice?  Consent.

Who must provide consent?  One parent.

Are there other trusted adults who may provide consent instead?  Yes, consent may be given by a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or sibling who is at least 25 years old.

What is the process for obtaining consent?  A young woman may not obtain an abortion unless the attending physician secures "voluntary and informed" consent of one parent or adult family member.

May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman is a victim of rape or incest?  Yes, if the young woman provides the physician with a written and signed statement that the pregnancy is the result of either sexual assault in which the minor did not indicate a freely given agreement to have sex or sex with a "caregiver."  The physician must place the statement in her medical record and report the sexual assault or sex.

May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman is a victim of child abuse?  Yes, if the young woman provides the physician with a written and signed statement that a parent or adult family member has abused her and the physician places the statement in her medical record and reports the abuse.

May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman's health is threatened?  Yes, but only if the physician determines that a medical emergency exists, defined as a medical condition that necessitates an immediate abortion to preserve the woman's life or for which delay will create "serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of one or more of the woman's major bodily functions."

May the parental mandate be waived under any other circumstances?  Yes, if a psychiatrist or psychologist states in writing that he or she believes, to the best of his or her professional judgment, that the young woman is likely to commit suicide rather than file a judicial-bypass petition or approach her parent for consent.  In addition, the parental mandate may be waived if the young woman obtains permission from a judge.

If a young woman must obtain permission from a judge, what is the process?  She must secure a court order stating either that she is mature and well informed enough to make her own decision or that an abortion is in her best interests.

Are there other significant requirements under the law?  No.

Has a court considered the constitutionality of this law?  No.

Other information about the law:  None.

Wis. Stat. Ann. §§ 48.375 (Enacted 1991; Last Amended 2009), 253.10 (Enacted 1985; Last Amended 2009).


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