August 2, 2013

Law Would Have Closed Half of State's Abortion Clinics

August 2, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org

MADISON, Wis. – A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction today blocking a Wisconsin law that places medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion providers and that would have forced two of the four health centers that provide abortions in the state to close. The law was challenged on July 7, 2013, by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Wisconsin, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.

The law, which requires every physician who performs an abortion to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, is similar to Alabama and Mississippi laws that were blocked by federal district courts earlier this year, and a North Dakota law blocked by a state trial court just last week. Doctors and leading medical groups, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Wisconsin Public Health Association, have opposed such requirements because they are unnecessary for the provision of safe, high-quality health care, and because they prevent women from getting necessary services. Wisconsin law does not require doctors providing surgery at other health centers to have admitting privileges even for more complicated procedures.

"We are pleased that the court blocked this law which would have threatened women's health by shutting down women's health centers that provide safe, legal abortions," said Larry Dupuis, legal director of the ACLU of Wisconsin.

"This law is just one in an already too-long list of legislation passed this year and designed solely to interfere with a woman's private medical decisions," said Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. "We will not stand silent as extremist politicians attempt to take away women's access to safe and legal abortion care."

For more information on this case, please visit: www.aclu.org/reproductive-freedom/planned-parenthood-wisconsin-v-van-hollen

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