Judge halts Wisconsin law enforcing tighter health standards for abortion facilities
MADISON, WI, July 17, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A law requiring abortionists in Wisconsin to have admitting privileges to hospitals within 30 miles of the office remains suspended, thanks to a decision from an Obama-appointed federal judge this morning.
Abortion supporters had claimed that the law would shut down half of the remaining four abortion facilities in the state.
U.S. District Judge William Conley extended a temporary restraining order against the law, which also requires that doctors give women the opportunity to see an ultrasound of their unborn child before opting to have an abortion. However, the restraining order centers around the admitting provision, enacted to ensure women can receive competent medical care following botched abortions.
Governor Scott Walker, a Republican, signed the bill on July 5. It would have gone into effect three days later.
Planned Parenthood and a state abortion facility, Affiliated Medical Services, immediately filed suit, claiming the health provision represented an “undue burden” to a woman's purported constitutional right to choose.
Judge Conley filed a previous restraining order against the new law on July 8, saying the bill would do “irreparable harm” to women. The order was set to expire today.
The new order lasts for two weeks. The judge promised to decide whether to file a preliminary injunction, which would suspend the law until a final trial is completed, during that time.
The trial is scheduled to begin on November 25.
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On MSNBC today, Tanya Atkinson of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin said, if enacted, the law “will have a huge impact to women in Wisconsin. And as the judge commented, we have women who are traveling, you know, upwards of six-to-ten hours to receive access to care, and to shut down two of the four remaining centers and greatly reduce the capacity at the other two will really have an indelible impact.”
Jeffrey Meyer of Newbusters.org wrote that Atkinson “ignored the fact that according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services there are exactly 56 non-Planned Parenthood free or low cost health clinics in the Badger State. There may be others that the state is not aware of, perhaps, but that's how many are listed on the state health department's website.”
President Barack Obama appointed Conley to his post in 2010.