Wisconsin’s union-busting Tea Party Governor, Scott Walker, took to busting up women’s rights as Wisconsin becomes the latest state this week to approve devastating restrictions on women’s reproductive rights. Joining Ohio and Texas and North Carolina, Wisconsin’s new law will require a mandatory ultrasound to be performed before a woman can have an abortion. The new law also requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinics.
Reuters reported that , “According to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and Affiliated Medical Services, which are the state’s two abortion providers, the law will force the closing of abortion clinics in Appleton and Milwaukee because doctors there do not have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.”
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and the ACLU released a statement saying,
“This law will drastically limit a woman’s ability to obtain a safe and legal abortion in Wisconsin by imposing burdensome and medically unnecessary requirements on doctors that provide this essential care,” said ACLU of Wisconsin Legal Director Larry Dupuis. “This law was rammed through the legislature in a matter of days and now, with a stroke of his pen, the governor has put the very health and well-being of Wisconsin women and families at immediate risk.”
The law would force Affiliated Medical Services in Milwaukee and Planned Parenthood’s health center in Appleton to shut down, and would force Planned Parenthood’s health center in Milwaukee to cut staff and severely curtail services.
Doctors who provide abortions are often unable to obtain hospital admitting privileges due to factors such as the hospital’s opposition to abortion or a requirement that physicians admit a minimum number of patients to the hospital. Because abortion is extremely safe and rarely results in hospitalization, it is impossible for physicians who provide abortions to meet the minimum requirement. Moreover, because of its immediate effective date, this law does not even allow doctors to try to obtain privileges before forcing them to stop providing abortions.
“With this eleventh hour attack on women’s health, Wisconsin has now joined the ranks of Mississippi, Alabama, and others, in a national campaign to outlaw abortion,” said Talcott Camp, deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “Enough is enough. Politicians can no longer be permitted to shut down clinics that provide safe abortions and prevent a woman from making the best decision for her and her family.”
In a previously released statement at the time of the bill’s passage in June, Planned Parenthood said,
“A woman who has been raped, or one who is terminating a wanted pregnancy that is not viable or poses a risk to a woman’s health would be required to endure a state mandated detailed description of her pregnancy. This shameful requirement coupled with the excessive travel women will likely face and that can compromise her health and safety is simply wrong.”
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