Federal Judge extends hold on portion of Wisconsin pro-life law

By Dave Andrusko

On Wednesday U.S. District Judge William Conley tacked on an additional week to the hold he’d already placed on a portion of a Wisconsin pro-life law.

Senate Bill 206—known as “Sonya’s Law”—includes in part the requirement that an abortionist have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and Affiliated Medical Services immediately challenged that provision in federal court, arguing that the requirement “would unconstitutionally restrict the availability of abortions in the state, violates the U.S. Constitution’s due-process guarantee and unconstitutionally treats doctors who perform abortions differently from those who perform other procedures,” the Associated Press reported.

The lawsuit does not affect that portion of Sonya’s Law requiring that women seeking abortions in Wisconsin be given the opportunity to see their unborn children through ultrasound. That part of the law has already gone in to effect.

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Nine other states have passed laws requiring abortionists to have hospital admitting privileges. Missouri’s admitting privilege law was challenged and upheld by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeal. (Wisconsin is in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.) Abortion advocates are challenging similar laws elsewhere in the nation.

Judge Conley first issued two orders in July temporarily blocking the law. He later issued another order keeping his hold in place until August 8 “or until he decides on a preliminary injunction that would be in place for a longer period,” according to Patrick Marley and Jason Stein of the Journal Sentinel.

They added, “Conley said he expected to rule on the injunction by the end of the week. That injunction would likely remain in effect until at least November, when Conley will preside over a trial on the constitutionality of the requirement for doctors who perform abortions.”

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