NRL News

Appeals court panel upholds decision blocking Wisconsin law that requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at local hospital

by | Dec 23, 2013


By Dave Andrusko

7thcircuitGranted that you can’t always know which way judges are leaning by their questions during oral arguments, but based on the grilling a three-judge appeals panel gave Wisconsin’s assistant attorney general Daniel Lennington in early December, it came as no surprise on Friday that the panel blocked Wisconsin’s law that requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. (See “Three-judge panel holds hour-long hearing on requirement that abortionists have hospital admitting privileges”)

Nine states require that an abortionist have admitting privileges. Four of these laws are currently in force while another four are enjoined pending litigation. (One state has a law requiring an abortionist to have admitting privileges, but it is not yet in effect.)

The unanimous decision from 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago upheld U.S. District Judge William Conley’s July 8 preliminary injunction issued in July. A month later, Conley issued an injunction delaying implementation pending the outcome of the trial. The litigants were the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of Wisconsin, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), and Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.

Heather Weininger, legislative director for Wisconsin Right to Life, noted that that the challenged provisions now heads back to federal district court where a trial will be held before Judge Conley to determine whether the law is constitutional

The decision, she said, “does not benefit women who suffer abortion complications.” Weininger added, “It is disturbing that a woman is placed in an ambulance and sent to an emergency room where medical personal do not know her medical history or what happened to her at the abortion clinic.”

The “whole purpose of the law”—to protect women—“is negative by preventing the law from going into effect,” she concluded.

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Categories: Judicial