Wisconsin State law requires that a woman meet with a counselor and physician before she can have an abortion. In Wisconsin, abortions can not be performed after 21 weeks of pregnancy.
After this counseling appointment, the woman must wait at least 24 hours before she can return for the abortion procedure. Young women under the age of 18 are required to have an adult relative (over the age of 25) with them.
What happens when you come for counseling?
During the counseling visit, we will ask you to:
- Provide photo identification. For security reasons, we need to copy your ID and the ID of anyone who comes with you.
- Have an ultrasound examination performed to verify and date your pregnancy. If you wish, you may view your ultrasound and receive a copy.
- Read the State of Wisconsin handbook, Information about Fetal Development, Abortion and Childbirth. If you are interested in the medical abortion procedure, we will also ask you to read information comparing medical and surgical abortions.
- Have lab work done. Staff will take your blood pressure and pulse, and will test your blood to see if your blood type is Rh+ or Rh-. We will also perform a Hemoglobin test to check for anemia.
- Do the state-mandated counseling with a physician and a registered nurse or licensed social worker. You will be asked to sign and complete the Abortion Information Provision Certification Form issued by the State of Wisconsin. The counseling session must be completed a minimum of 24 hours before you can begin your abortion procedure.
- If you wish, you may schedule your abortion procedure before you leave the clinic. You may also call later to set up your appointment.
Teens and Abortion
In the State of Wisconsin, a young woman under 18 must have an adult relative come with her to the clinic to give consent for her abortion.
State law defines adult relative as a mother, father, aunt, uncle, brother, sister or grandparent. The relative must be age 25 or older to give consent for a teen to have an abortion.
The adult relative must stay in the clinic with the young woman, go to the counseling session, and sign papers giving permission for the abortion. An Emancipated minor does not need adult consent. Emancipation occurs if the minor is married, has given birth or by court order.
If an adult relative is not available or willing to help, the young woman can get a judge's order for the abortion, in a process called judicial bypass. This involves going to children's court, accompanied by a public defender. Once the young woman has met with the judge, the judge will make a decision about her right to have an abortion without an adult relative's consent. The process of getting a judicial bypass usually takes a few days, doesn't cost anything and is completely confidential.