With home abortions illegal, Wisconsin doctor buys Illinois sites so he can offer services

MADISON, Wis. – A Wisconsin doctor has purchased two clinic buildings in northern Illinois where he plans to offer abortion pills as early as this week at one location and surgical abortions within six months at the other site.

The move comes after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down federal abortion rights last month. This has led abortion providers in Wisconsin to halt proceedings while the courts determine whether the state’s 1849 law banning most abortions is valid. Abortion remains legal in Illinois.

Dr. Dennis Christensen says he is part of a group trying to revive abortion services in Rockford, Illinois, in part to accommodate Wisconsin women. Christensen is an obstetrician-gynecologist who performed abortions in Madison and Milwaukee and is now mostly retired, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Christensen recently purchased a former acupuncture office for $75,000 and the former Rockford Animal Emergency Clinic for $350,000, according to Winnebago County records.

Christensen said he plans to offer medical abortions at the former acupuncture office as early as Friday. The new Rockford Family Planning Foundation raises funds and prepares the second site for surgical abortions, birth control and related care.

A building that a doctor from Wisconsin bought in northern Illinois.
A building that a doctor from Wisconsin bought in northern Illinois.Google Maps

“We feel it is absolutely essential for us to open as quickly as possible,” said Jeanne Bissell, president of the foundation.

The one exception to Wisconsin’s abortion ban involves risk to the life of the mother. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul filed a lawsuit last month challenging the old law, arguing that laws from the 1980s supersede Prohibition and that it has been dormant for so long that it should be inapplicable.