Judge grants temporary restraining order for parts of Act 37

MADISON (WITI) -- A federal judge on Monday, July 8th issued a temporary restraining order against parts of the Wisconsin Abortion Law (Act 37).

The restraining order was brought by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, and Affiliated Medical Services, and was filed on Friday, July 5th.

On Monday, a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of the part of the law that bans doctors who lack admitting privileges at nearby hospitals from performing abortions.

The lawsuit alleged that the requirement would unconstitutionally restrict the availability of abortions in the state, violates the U.S. Constitution's due process guarantee and unconstitutionally treats doctors who perform abortions differently from those who perform other procedures.

Wisconsin's Abortion Bill (Act 37) was signed into law Friday by Gov. Scott Walker.

In a statement Monday, Planned Parenthood said:

“This ruling is a step in the right direction for the women of Wisconsin who can now continue to make their own personal, private health care decisions,” said Planned Parenthood President and CEO Teri Huyck. “We are confident that the Court will ultimately recognize if ACT 37 is not blocked, it would unconstitutionally restrict the ability of Wisconsin women, including victims of rape and incest and women who are in need of an abortion to preserve their health, to access safe and legal abortions. ”

“Wis. Act. 37 is political interference at its absolute worst,” continued Teri Huyck. “Ultimately, decisions about whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy, or raise a child must be left to a woman, her family, and her faith, with the counsel of her doctor or health care provider.

“For 78 years, Planned Parenthood health centers in Wisconsin have provided high quality, nonjudgmental health care to women. We look forward to resolving this case so we can provide our patients with safe and legal health care services they need and deserve well into the future.”

Act 37, as it was signed, requires that women undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion, and states abortion providers must give women a description of the ultrasound images, including the dimensions of the unborn child, as well as any external features and internal organs that are visible on the image.

However, the woman cannot be forced to look at the images.

The law also required that in order to legally perform an abortion, a doctor must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where the abortion will occur. This is the part of the law for which the temporary restraining order has been granted.

Planned Parenthood has said the provision would force its Appleton clinic to close, and lead to long waiting lists in Milwaukee.