Wisconsin's Abortion Law on Trial: What's the Impact? - WBAY

Wisconsin's Abortion Law on Trial: What's the Impact?


The federal trial over part of Wisconsin's recent abortion law began in Madison Tuesday.

The provision requires doctors performing abortions obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.

Hours after Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed the measure into law last summer, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and Affiliated Medical Services filed a lawsuit, eventually leading to this week's trial.

Tuesday a doctor who performs abortions for Planned Parenthood says it took her nine months to get admitting privileges at two Milwaukee hospitals.

The law's supporters argue the law ensures continuity of care if women must go to hospitals.

Opponents say the law is unnecessary and burdens doctors and women seeking abortions.

"Other states have these in place, other states are seeing challenges to these types of law," Charley Jacobs said, a political science professor at St. Norbert College in De Pere who studies the courts. "It's not only of interest to people in the state of Wisconsin, but it's likely that this case or a case like this might end up before the United States Supreme Court."

Similar laws are being challenged in Alabama and Mississippi.

Nearly a dozen state legislatures have passed similar measures, most recently in Oklahoma and Louisiana.

"Supreme Court justices are motivated by their own internal ideology and by politics," Jacobs aid. "And so this is a hot button issue. There are many on the court who dispute the original ruling in Roe v. Wade, which provided a right to abortion for women in the United States. So one of these cases gives them an opportunity to overturn previous case law. This might be a meaty enough case they might want to take it."

Wisconsin's trial is expected to last all week.

U.S. District Judge William Conley is expected to issue a written ruling sometime this summer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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