Post-Roe family planning in Madison

This illustration is a collage of images of birth control, an IVF needle penetrating an egg, mid-century children, and a judge's gavel to symbolize the topics that will be covered in this series.
Illustration by Kay Reynolds.

On May 2, 2022, Politico released a leaked draft of the US Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which overturned the abortion rights protections of Roe v. Wade. In the time between the leak and the final decision’s release on June 24, lawyers, healthcare providers, and governments pored over Wisconsin’s pre-Civil War state law banning abortions to decipher what it would mean in the 21st century. 

It also prompted questions about what it could mean for potential parents: whether they should have children, how many, and how. 

On August 4, Madison Minutes and Tone Madison asked readers in the Madison area to participate in a survey on how Dobbs has affected their family planning. We received over 200 responses from people with a variety of concerns about what lack of access to abortion could mean for their health, their partners’ health, and their family, and questions about how to move forward. 

Based on the responses we received, we are bringing you a series of stories unpacking the potential long-term impact of a decision that touches on some of the most private and important decisions in people’s lives.

Sign up for the Post-Roe Family Planning email course

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Edited by Christina Lieffring, Scott Gordon

Coordinated by Christina Lieffring, Oona Mackesey-Green, Hayley Sperling, Sam Hoisington, Scott Gordon

Written and reported by Christina Lieffring, Dayna Long, Holly Marley-Henschen, Hayley Sperling

Survey developed by Sam Hoisington, Christina Lieffring, Oona Mackesey-Green, Hayley Sperling

Survey distributed by Madison Minutes and Tone Madison

Illustrations by Kay Reynolds

Charts by Sam Hoisington

The “Post-Roe family planning in Madison” series is supported in part by a grant from Indiegraf.

Special thanks to Dorothea Salo of the UW-Madison iSchool for providing digital security advice.

You can support independent journalism in Madison by donating to Tone Madison and becoming a Madison Minutes member.

Read the full series

Queer people in Madison adapt to renewed threats in a post-Roe world

The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling has rippling effects across the LGBTQ+ community.

Fertility care in Wisconsin faces worrisome unknowns in the wake of Dobbs

In vitro fertilization is still legal, but patients and providers are bracing for long-term legal implications.

Contraception has a new weight post-Roe in Madison

People with uteruses and the organizations that support them are putting up a fight against unwanted health outcomes.

The view from a best-case pregnancy

One Madison woman’s experience in the shadow of the Dobbs decision.

How the Dobbs decision weighs on parents in Madison

People who already have kids are uncertain about having more in a state where abortion is illegal. 

What we learned from a survey about post-Roe family planning

The first in a joint series from Madison Minutes and Tone Madison examining the impact of the Dobbs ruling on local families.

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