The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] on Thursday asked a judge for the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin [official website] to stay a challenge to the state's new abortion law [text], pending an appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit [official website]. The DOJ appealed [JURIST report] the injunction [text, PDF] earlier this week. The law requires medical providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. It was challenged [press release] by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin [advocacy website] on the grounds that it would require two major providers facilities to close due to limited geographical access to hospitals. Judge Willam Conley blocked the law [JURIST report] until its constitutionality could be decided. With this interlocutory appeal, Conley has agreed to temporarily stay all further proceedings pending the decision, but has invited the opposing party to respond as to whether the proceedings must continue at this point. The injunction still remains in effect.
A number of states have recently passed laws relating to reproductive rights [JURIST backgrounder]. In July Ohio Governor John Kasich [official website] signed abortion restrictions into law [JURIST report] requiring women to first undergo ultrasounds. In April North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple [official website] signed a measure banning abortions after 20 weeks gestation [JURIST report] based on the controversial premise that a fetus can feel pain at that point. Earlier that month lawmakers in Alabama passed [JURIST report] the Women's Health and Safety Act [text, PDF], which imposes tough restrictions on abortion clinics and practitioners within the state. In March the Arkansas legislature voted to override [JURIST report] Governor Mike Beebe's recent veto of the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act [Act 301, PDF], which bans abortions "of an unborn human individual whose heartbeat has been detected ... and is twelve (12) weeks or greater gestation." That law has since been blocked by a federal judge [JURIST report].