Walker Thinks Abortion Bill Will Survive Legal Challenge


Gov. Scott Walker says a bill he signed that limits who can administer abortions will ultimately hold up in court.

The bill signed by Walker on Friday only allows doctors who have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles to perform abortions and requires women seeking abortions to get an ultrasound first. The law was scheduled to go into effect Monday, but Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and Affiliated Medical Services filed a lawsuit challenging the law. They argue that the law was unconstitutional because it restricts women’s ability to get legal abortions and treats doctors who perform them differently than others.

Federal Judge William Conley issued a 10-day injunction blocking the law, saying that the state is unlikely to meet the burden of proving admitting privileges that are needed to protect women’s safety. During a visit to Farm Technology Days in Barron, Walker was quiet on the issue but did say the law is in line with what Wisconsinites want.

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“I thought it was a reasonable passage and if people want [abortion] to be legal but safe and rare, those provisions tie right into that,” said Walker.

Walker says he’s not worried about the delay in implementing the law and expects it to be upheld. “I’ve had two and a half years of lawsuits and judges taking actions,” he said. “In the end … the laws I sign into effect ultimately go into effect, and I imagine the same would be true here.”

Another hearing on the constitutionality of the bill is scheduled for July 17. Judge Conley has already said that even if the state can meet the burden of proof that admitting privileges are necessary, the plaintiffs are likely to succeed in proving the law sets up unreasonable obstructions to women seeking abortions.