Judge delays enforcement of part of Wis. abortion law

July 18, 2013 at 4:32 PM
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MADISON, Wis., July 18 (UPI) -- Gov. Scott Walker said he is not worried about a federal judge's decision to extend a stay on Wisconsin's new abortion law.

U.S. District Judge William Conley plans to decide later this month whether to issue a preliminary injunction, the Milwaukee Jounral Sentinel reported. If he does, the law would not take effect until he holds a hearing, now scheduled for November, on its constitutionality.

Conley extended his current stay on the law in a ruling Wednesday.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and Affiliated Medical Services, the two abortion providers in the state, challenged a provision of the law that requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic. Another provision, requiring women to have ultrasounds before abortions, is being enforced.

Conley has said the state must show a legitimate interest in the hospital requirement. Carrie Flaxman, a Planned Parenthood lawyer, said doctors who perform similar and in some cases riskier procedures are not required to have hospital admitting privileges.

The judge pointed out that many women travel hundreds of miles for an abortion and complications, which are rare, only develop when they return home. In those cases, he said, the 30-mile rule has little effect.

Walker said Wednesday he is confident the state will eventually be allowed to enforce the rule.

"Eventually it will work its way through the court system and I'm confident just like every other bill ultimately the law will be upheld," he said.

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