Daily Bread for 5.3.22: Law and Enforcement After Roe

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will see scattered showers with a high of 47.  Sunrise is 5:44 AM and sunset 7:58 PM for 14h 13m 28s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 6.3% of its visible disk illuminated.

 The Whitewater School Board meets at 6:30 PM and the Whitewater Common Council also meets at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1957,  Walter O’Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, agrees to move the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.

Josh Gerstein and Alexander Ward of POLITICO yesterday published a draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (a case addressing the constitutionality of Mississippi restrictions on abortion) that would overturn Roe v. Wade

For Wisconsinites there are two principal legal questions: (1) in the absence of Roe, what law would govern access to abortion in this state and (2) how might that law be enforced?

Wisconsin law has an unenforced pre-Roe ban on abortions:

940.04 Abortion.
(1) Any person, other than the mother, who intentionally destroys the life of an unborn child is guilty of a Class H felony.
(2) Any person, other than the mother, who does either of the following is guilty of a Class E felony:
(a) Intentionally destroys the life of an unborn quick child; or
(b) Causes the death of the mother by an act done with intent to destroy the life of an unborn child. It is unnecessary to prove that the fetus was alive when the act so causing the mother’s death was committed.
(5) This section does not apply to a therapeutic abortion which:
(a) Is performed by a physician; and
(b) Is necessary, or is advised by 2 other physicians as necessary, to save the life of the mother; and
(c) Unless an emergency prevents, is performed in a licensed maternity hospital.
(6) In this section “unborn child” means a human being from the time of conception until it is born alive.

Wis. Stat. § 940.04

Other states have similar statutes adopted long before Roe. See What would happen if Roe v. Wade were overturned.

There are (and would be more) court decisions — case law — interpreting Wisconsin’s state provision.

On the second question, how a state abortion ban in Wisconsin would be enforced, there are certain to be county-by-county differences in the willingness to prosecute cases. Wisconsin will prove to be as divided internally as some states are divided externally with other states. Those hoping to find a post-Roe harmony in Wisconsin will be disappointed.

Rocket Lab catches, drops rocket using a helicopter:

Launch firm Rocket Lab catches a falling rocket booster with a helicopter before dropping it into the ocean in a partially successful test of the company’s novel cost-savings approach to recovering used rockets for multiple missions to space.

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