The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Wisconsin, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin have filed a lawsuit challenging a state law that places medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion providers that would severely restrict women's access to safe and legal abortion in a state where access is already heavily restricted. Two of only four health centers providing safe and legal abortion today could be forced to close.
The law requires every physician who performs an abortion at a clinic to have staff privileges at a local hospital. This requirement is opposed by doctors and leading medical groups, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Wisconsin Public Health Association, because they prevent women from getting safe, high quality health care.
The law is scheduled to take effect within days after it is signed. It would force Affiliated Medical Services in Milwaukee and Planned Parenthood's health center in Appleton to shut down, and would force Planned Parenthood's health center in Milwaukee to cut staff and severely curtail services.
Doctors who provide abortions are often unable to obtain hospital admitting privileges due to factors such as the hospital's opposition to abortion or a requirement that physicians admit a minimum number of patients to the hospital. Because abortion is extremely safe and rarely results in hospitalization, it is impossible for physicians who provide abortions to meet the minimum requirement. Moreover, because of its immediate effective date, this law does not even allow doctors to try to obtain privileges before forcing them to stop providing abortions.
Victory!December 20, 2013
On December 20, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit upheld a lower court's decision blocking the law from taking effect.