The Wisconsin Department of Justice on Tuesday appealed a federal judge's injunction [JURIST report] blocking a new law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals within 30 miles of their clinics [WP report] and administer a mandatory ultrasound before a woman receives an abortion. DOJ attorneys filed the notice of appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit [official website]. They argue that the law [text, PDF] is designed to ensure continuity of care. Opponents of the law, including Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and Affiliated Medical Services, allege that the law would force the organizations to close two clinics in Appleton and Milwaukee because providers at both facilities lack admitting privileges.
A number of states have recently passed laws relating to reproductive rights [JURIST backgrounder]. In July Ohio Governor John Kasich [official website] also 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].