MADISON, Wis. — The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that had provided a constitutional right to abortion, on Friday. The Madison Police Department is now preparing to add extra patrols throughout the weekend to prepare for potential demonstrations.
The Madison Police Department said they are working with other law enforcement agencies ahead of potential demonstrations over the ruling. One event is scheduled to happen Friday night outside the Wisconsin State Capitol, police say. Police encourage anyone planning to participate to do so peacefully.
At this time, police say there is nothing to suggest the event will be disorderly or a threat to the community. The department also has its Special Events Team activated to help monitor and keep crowds safe during demonstrations.
The department will also be a part of a unified command post to allow multiple agencies to work together on response efforts at the same location, according to police.
The extra patrols will be outside of organizations and businesses that "may generate interest" due to Friday's ruling, police say. Police have been in communication with business partners and community stakeholders ahead of Friday night's event.
"The Madison Police Department supports the rights of people to speak openly and freely about their beliefs. Again, we ask anyone who plans to gather this weekend to do so peacefully," the department said.
Overturning Roe v Wade now criminalizes nearly all abortions in Wisconsin unless the doctors determine the mother's life is at risk. The state's abortion law was established in 1894. Anyone other than the mother who performs an abortion in Wisconsin would be charged with a felony. Doctors could face up to six years in prison, up to a $10,000 fine, or both.