Wisconsin asks Supreme Court to remove injunction against anti-abortion law

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Wisconsin has filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a U.S. Court of Appeals order blocking enforcement of a law that would restrict access to safe and legal abortion in the state.

The measure passed in the Legislature and was signed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and, if allowed to go into effect, would impose a requirement that doctors who provide abortion obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital.

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin sued to overturn the measure and also sought a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the law until the issue could be resolved by federal court.

The organization stressed that if the court didn’t block enforcement, the law would end the availability of abortion services at two of the four remaining health centers providing abortion in the state.

In December, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction.

Judge Richard Posner, writing for the majority, said Planned Parenthood seemed likely to succeed on its claim that the law would unduly burden women’s access to safe and legal abortion without advancing any medical interest. 

Planned Parenthood responded to the state’s petition on March 19. “It is deeply disappointing that politicians in Wisconsin continue to waste taxpayer dollars to litigate these dangerous and unconstitutional laws,” said Teri Huyck, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin. “Far from protecting women’s health, the effect of this law if enacted would be to force an abortion later in pregnancy or cut off access to safe and legal abortion.” 

Cecile Richards, president of the national Planned Parenthood Action Fund, also issued a statement: “Planned Parenthood Action Fund will continue to fight these dangerous restrictions in state legislatures and courts across the country. Sadly, Wisconsin is not alone — in Texas, we’ve seen the tragic consequences of these dangerous restrictions, and politicians in Louisiana, Oklahoma and South Carolina are pushing similar bills through their state legislatures.”

She continued, “These dangerous and unconstitutional laws won’t be tolerated by the courts or voters. To create real change, women in states across the country need new leaders who value women’s health, to ensure that a woman’s access to health care doesn’t depend on her ZIP code.”

Planned Parenthood said the list of groups opposing the Wisconsin law include the Wisconsin Medical Society, the Wisconsin Hospital Association, the Wisconsin Public Health Association, the Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians, the Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards, and the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health.