Federal lawsuit filed after Governor signs abortion bill into la - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Federal lawsuit filed after Governor signs abortion bill into law


MADISON (WKOW)-- Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union announced a lawsuit after Governor Scott Walker signed a controversial abortion bill.

Senate file 206 and 17 other bills were signed by Governor Walker Friday afternoon. Two hours later both Planned Parenthood and ACLU had announced they were going to fight it in court.

"Senate Bill 206 is part of a nationwide effort by opponents to women's health to end access to safe and legal abortion by requiring unnecessary hospital admitting privileges for physicians who provide abortion," Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin President/CEO Teri Huyck says.

The group says the bill's requirement that doctors providing abortions must have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles would close two of their four remaining clinics in the state.

"It's very strategically done to impede access to abortion care," Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health Executive Director Sara Finger says. "If you can't overturn Roe-v-Wade, you pick around the edges like this and you introduce legislation after legislation that restricts access."

Finger says the bill's authors claim to help women's health, but she believes it will end up doing the opposite. The law would close the Planned Parenthood in Appleton and one in Milwaukee. That means women seeking health services would have to go to the Madison location or the other Milwaukee clinic. Workers say both clinics are already operating at capacity.

"This is big government, government intrusion at it's best and Wisconsin women should really be outraged at this point," Finger says.

The new law goes into effect on Monday, but attorneys have asked for a temporary restraining order to prevent that from happening. They also filed a complaint that seeks to strike the law down permanently.

"When the legislature passes a law that severely restricts the availability of abortion services for a purpose that has nothing to do with the health or welfare of the patients, that law is unconstitutional," Planned Parenthood's attorney Lester Pines says.

Advocates for the new law say it gives women more information and support  before they undergo an abortion. Opponents however, say it's all about creating roadblocks.

A federal judge has already been assigned to the case. Early next week he will make a decision on whether or not to grant that temporary restraining order on the law.


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