Federal Judge Again Delays Wisconsin's Strict Abortion Law That Threatened Half of State's Abortion Clinics

A federal judge has once again delayed the implementation of part of Wisconsin's recently passed law regulating abortion access.

U.S. District Judge William Conley extended a preliminary injunction on Friday against the part of the abortion law regarding the admitting privileges to hospitals for abortion providers. "…defendants to date have failed to demonstrate any reasonable relationship between maternal health and imposing this restriction," wrote Conley.<

"Given the substantial likelihood of success on the merits and of irreparable harm, the public's interest is best served by imposing a preliminary injunction on enforcement of the admitting privileges requirement until this court can address its merits after trial."

In June, the Wisconsin Legislature passed a sweeping abortion regulation bill, Senate Bill 206, also called "Sonya's Law," that would among other things require an ultrasound before an abortion and demand that abortion providers must have admitting privileges to hospitals.  Such privileges could take months to format and the lack of which may result in the closure of two of Wisconsin's four abortion clinics.

Wisconsin's SB 206 passed the state Senate in a vote of 17 yeas to 15 nays and the Assembly in a vote of 56 yeas to 39 nays.

Susan Armacost, legislative director for Wisconsin Right to Life, told The Christian Post in an earlier interview that they "greatly appreciate Governor Walker's support for Wisconsin's new law."

"He understands that women need full information prior to making the life and death decision regarding whether to abort a child or give birth to that child," said Armacost.

"In addition, this legislation will protect women who suffer complications after an abortion by requiring that the individual who performed the abortion have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital."

Governor Scott Walker signed SB 206 into law in early July, with Planned Parenthood and others filing a lawsuit against it immediately afterwards.

Teri Huyck, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, said in a statement that SB 206 was a threat to women's health.

"Senate Bill 206 is part of a nationwide effort by opponents of women's health to end access to safe and legal abortion by requiring unnecessary hospital admitting privileges for physicians who provide abortion," said Huyck.

Regarding the lawsuit, Judge Conley had earlier issued a temporary restraining order on July 8 and then after briefing and oral arguments extended it to July 17.

The new preliminary injunction extends the blocking of the law's provision through the trial, which is expected to begin on November 25.