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Injunction bars hospital admitting privilege requirement for abortions

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 22, 2013

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A federal judge temporarily has blocked a Wisconsin law that bans doctors who lack admitting privileges at nearby hospitals from performing abortions. The law is opposed by the state’s medical society.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin on July 5 had requested an injunction against the measure. The organization said the statute threatens the availability of abortion at Wisconsin’s four remaining facilities that perform the procedures in Appleton, Madison and Milwaukee.

U.S. District Judge William Conley on July 8 granted the temporary injunction. The law, which was scheduled to go into effect the same day, was signed by Gov. Scott Walker in early July. The statute prevents physicians from performing abortions if they do not have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 minutes of their practices. In addition, the law requires women to obtain ultrasounds of their fetuses before receiving abortions.

In a statement, the Wisconsin Medical Society said the law is “a direct infringement on the patient-physician relationship and injects nonevolving government mandates into medical science.” The society “remains steadfast in its position that legislating what occurs in the exam room is unequivocally unacceptable,” the statement said.

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