Kirsten Andersen

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Judge: Asking doctors to have admitting privileges does ‘irreparable harm’ to women seeking abortion

Kirsten Andersen
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MADISON, WI, August 1, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The federal judge who blocked enforcement of Wisconsin’s new abortion safety regulations last month has given himself one more week to make a decision on whether to extend the hold until November, when Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit seeking to overturn the law goes to trial.

Planned Parenthood sued in July to overturn the law, which requires abortionists to maintain admitting privileges at local hospitals in case women are injured during botched abortions.

The abortion giant says the requirement would force two of the state’s abortion centers to close, because their abortionists don’t have admitting privileges, placing an undue burden on women who would have to drive further to get an abortion.

Judge William Conley, who was appointed by President Obama, granted Planned Parenthood’s request for a temporary injunction against the bill on July 9, saying that he saw no medically justifiable reason for the restriction.

“The record to date strongly supports a finding that no medical purpose is served by this requirement," Conley wrote in his decision. “The current system already handles efficiently the very low percentage of women seeking abortions with serious complications.”

The judge was sympathetic to Planned Parenthood’s complaint that one clinic would have had to cancel 30 abortions in the week after the law was signed, with additional cancellations needed at other abortion facilities.

"There will almost certainly be irreparable harm to those women who will be foreclosed from having an abortion,” he wrote while granting the injunction, “because of the undue burden of travel or the late stage of pregnancy, as well as facing increasing health risks caused by delay." 

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"Since the state has failed to date to demonstrate any benefit to maternal health of imposing this restriction, there is no meaningful counterweight recognized by the United States Supreme Court to justify the act's immediate enforcement," he said.

Conley said he intends to make a decision about whether to extend the injunction through the November trial within the week.

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