On Friday, a judge in Wisconsin issued an injunction blocking part of a pro-life law designed to protect the health and safety of women considering abortions. Governor Scott Walker signed the law in July.
U.S. District Judge William Conley issued an order blocking a law that requires abortion practitioners to have admitting privileges at a local hospital to admit women as patients when the abortion injures them and causes problems requiring emergency medical attention.
A federal judge on Friday extended his hold on a portion of a new Wisconsin law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, issuing an injunction blocking the mandate for another four months.
U.S. District Judge William Conley’s order stems from a lawsuit Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services filed in July. The organizations say the law would force a Planned Parenthood clinic in Appleton and an AMS clinic in Milwaukee to close because abortion providers at both facilities lack admitting privileges.
Conley issued a temporary hold on the provisions on July 8. The organizations asked him to issue a preliminary injunction that would block the requirement through a trial set to begin Nov. 25.
State attorneys defending the law could ask the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to stay the injunction. A spokeswoman for the state Justice Department said in an email that agency lawyers are reviewing Conley’s order and considering their “next step.” She did not elaborate. As the case stands now the two clinics can remain open at least until Conley issues a final ruling after the trial.
Susan Armacost, Legislative Director of Wisconsin Right to Life, has said: “Apparently, Wisconsin’s abortion clinics don’t believe their abortionists need to have hospital privileges at a hospital located within 30 miles of their clinic….or anywhere at all. Currently, when a woman experiences hemorrhaging or other life-threatening complications after an abortion in Wisconsin, the clinic puts her in an ambulance and sends her to a hospital ALONE where she is left to her own devices to explain her medical issues to the emergency room staff. The abortionist who performed the abortion is nowhere to be seen. This deplorable situation must change.”
Armacost said the new law is on sound constitutional footing. Nine other states have passed laws requiring abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges. Missouri’s admitting privilege law was challenged and upheld by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
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C. Brent Boles, a Tennessee doctor, has spoken out about the importance of such a measure in his state.
“Currently, abortion facilities in Tennessee frequently do not provide any resource for patients to receive help or have questions answered after hours or on weekends. Patients are left to fend for themselves. They present to emergency rooms all over the state and they call GYN offices where the providers are not abortion providers and have no experience providing abortion services and they need help,” he explained.
“Complications of any procedure are best managed by those providers with the most experience in the particular field…complications of abortion are best managed by abortion providers,” Boles said. “In order to have complete access to everything that a post-abortion patient would need, the provider who cares for these patients must have access to the facilities in a hospital….They must have access to the resources needed, and sometimes these resources are available only in a hospital.”
“Abortion providers should have a clear process, communicated to the patient in a simple way, that outlines how the patient is to contact the provider after hours for problems, and where they are to go if they must go to the Emergency Room,” he concluded.