On Friday, a Federal Judge ruled as unconstitutional a state law passed by Wisconsin Republicans requiring abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges, citing that the requirement was unnecessary.
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and Affiliated Medical Services sued over the law, passed in August 2013, claiming it placed an undue burden on abortion clinic and that the requirement wasn’t necessary.
U.S. District Judge William Conley agreed, stating “The marginal benefit to women’s health of requiring hospital admitting privileges, if any, is substantially outweighed by the burden this requirement will have on women’s health outcomes due to restricted access to abortions in Wisconsin…While the court agrees with the State that sometimes it is necessary to reduce access to insure safety, this is decidedly not one of those instances.”
Laws requiring abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges has been a trend among conservative led state governments with supporters of the laws claiming that the requirement makes women seeking abortions safer. Those against the requirement claim that its true purpose is simply to close abortion clinics and discourage abortions because of the travel times required to find a clinic whose caregiver has the required admission privileges.
In Texas, where a new law also requires physicians administering abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinics, women have to travel as far as 270 miles to receive care, raising the likelihood of risky, self-induced abortions, advocates say.