2015 - 2016 LEGISLATURE
February 3, 2016 - Introduced by Senators Risser,
Miller, Harris Dodd, Ringhand
and C. Larson, cosponsored by Representatives Subeck,
Hesselbein, Sargent, Barnes, Zepnick, Pope and Spreitzer. Referred to
Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety.
1An Act to repeal
940.04; and to amend
939.75 (2) (b) 1. of the statutes; relating
2to: eliminating certain abortion prohibitions.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill repeals a statute relating to abortion that has been held unenforceable
by a federal court. Under that statute, any person, other than the mother, who
intentionally destroys the life of an unborn child is guilty of a Class H felony.
"Unborn child" is defined as a human being from the time of conception until born
alive. Any person, other than the mother, who intentionally destroys the life of an
unborn quick child or causes the mother's death by an act done with intent to destroy
the life of an unborn child is guilty of a Class E felony.
None of these penalties apply to a therapeutic abortion that is performed by a
physician, is necessary, or advised by two other physicians as necessary, to save the
life of the mother, and, unless an emergency prevents, is performed in a licensed
The statute was cited, in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), as similar to a Texas
statute that was held to violate the due process clause of the 14th Amendment of the
United States Constitution. Because of the Roe v. Wade decision, a subsequent
decision by a federal district court, Larkin v. McCann, 368 F. Supp. 1352 (E.D. Wis.,
1974), held the statute unenforceable.
This bill repeals that statute.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
939.75 (2) (b) 1. of the statutes is amended to read:
(b) 1. An act committed during an induced abortion. This 3
subdivision does not limit the applicability of ss. 940.04,
940.13, 940.15 and 940.16 4
to an induced abortion.
940.04 of the statutes is repealed.