Van Hollen Asks U.S. Supreme Court To Reinstate Wisconsin Abortion Law

Law Requires Doctors Performing Abortions To Have Hospital Admitting Privileges Nearby

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Supreme Court Photo: Wally Gobetz (CC-BY-NC-ND)

State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate a Wisconsin law requiring doctors providing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

The law was signed last summer but immediately blocked by a federal judge in Madison. In December, a federal appeals court in Chicago upheld the injunction, ruling that the law did not appear to have a clear medical purpose.

Madison attorney Lester Pines represents Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, which operates clinics that would have to close down if the law goes into effect. He says the case might eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court, but not until identical laws being challenged in Texas, Alabama and Mississippi are ruled on at the appeals court level.

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“All of these cases will get to those courts of appeals,” Pines said. “If the courts of appeals decide them differently, there will be a split in the circuits, and the United State Supreme Court is likely then to accept petitions for the court to hear those cases to resolve the differences between the circuits. But that hasn’t happened yet.”

A federal judge in Madison has scheduled a trial on the constitutionality of the Wisconsin law to begin in May. A ruling in that case would likely go back to the court of appeals in Chicago.

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