By Dave Andrusko
Yesterday we posted an update about the two trials that are taking place simultaneously, challenging the laws in Wisconsin and Alabama that require abortionists to have admitting privileges in local hospitals.
Earlier today a woman who suffered complications after her abortion testified on behalf of the state in the lawsuit challenging Wisconsin’s 2013 law, as did a doctor who said requiring admitting privileges would make abortionists more accountable.
Lena Wood testified that she “started to became ill a day and a half after getting an abortion in 1995 at Planned Parenthood’s Appleton clinic,” according to Patrick Marley of the Journal Sentinel. Wood described her experience as “very traumatic,” adding, “I wasn’t given any care or concern,” and “They kind of ushered me out the back door.” Ms. Wood said she was hospitalized for 12 days a week after her abortion.
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Marley also wrote about the testimony of James Linn
“an obstetrician and gynecologist at Columbia St. Mary’s, testified that he was called in to assist with an emergency operation about 10 years ago for a woman who was brought to his hospital from Affiliated.
“He said he did not believe the doctor who provided the abortion appropriately followed up with the patient and thought that doctor should have been referred to the state Medical Examining Board for ‘basically abandoning a patient.’
“’The doctor never really called to check on the patient, which I found appalling,’ he testified.”
On Tuesday the plaintiffs were first to testify [http://nrlc.cc/1mrgeeO]. As NRL News Today explained, the lawsuit was brought by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and Affiliated Medical Services (AMS). They brought their lawsuit the same day Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed the bill into law.
After U.S. Judge Michael Conley issued his July 2013 preliminary injunction blocking the law from taking effect, the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to lift the injunction. In December, a three-judge panel refused.
Planned Parenthood had to forego its original argument that the requirement to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic was an “undue burden” since it had subsequently obtained admitting privileges for its Appleton clinic.
Dr. Kathy King, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin’s medical director, switched course, arguing that because AMS had not obtained these privileges, women would turn to PP and overwhelm their clinics in Milwaukee, Madison and Appleton.
According to the Associated Press, “State attorneys maintain the law promotes a more thorough evaluation of abortion providers’ competency and ensures continuity of care if a woman develops complications that force her to visit a hospital.” In addition, AP’s Todd Richmond wrote, “They also argue there’s no longer a need for the Appleton clinic to close and AMS’ providers haven’t tried hard enough to get admitting privileges.”
The Wisconsin trial is expected to conclude by the end of the week. The Alabama case, which is being heard by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson, is expected to extend into June.