News Abortion

Wisconsin Abortion Providers Apply for Admitting Privileges Despite Likelihood of Rejection

Robin Marty

Representatives from Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and Affiliated Medical Services say they are in the process of contacting dozens of hospitals to file for admitting privileges. But the effort isn’t expected to be successful.

Wisconsin’s two abortion providers are making a good-faith effort to comply with a new state requirement—which is currently blocked by a federal judge—that all doctors who provide abortions have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

Representatives from Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and Affiliated Medical Services say they are in the process of contacting dozens of hospitals to file for admitting privileges. But the effort isn’t expected to be successful; some hospitals do not provide abortion care because of their religious affiliation, while others require that a minimum number of patients be admitted annually, a rule the clinics would not be able to adhere to since they see so few cases that require a hospital transfer each year.

Even in cases when a hospital might reconsider its rules, the timeline is also working against the Wisconsin abortion providers. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Tuesday, the process for granting privileges often takes a few months, and the new law gave the providers just one month to obtain them.

Providers in other states have had similar difficulties. Doctors at Jackson Women’s Health Organization in Mississippi, for instance, applied for admitting privileges at all seven of its local hospitals after that state’s admitting privileges law went into effect last year. The clinic was turned down by every hospital.

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Rewire has documented that admitting privileges laws have no medical benefit when it comes to abortion care.

As Nicole Safar, public policy director at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, told the Journal Sentinel, “Going through the process of trying to obtain as many privileges as we can helps prove our case that they’re unrelated to the work that we do.”

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