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Attorneys for Wisconsin Ask for Delay in Start of Admitting Privileges Trial

Jessica Mason Pieklo

If their request is granted, a November trial on the constitutionality of the law would be delayed for months.

Attorneys for the State of Wisconsin asked a federal judge Thursday to delay the start of a November trial on the constitutionality of the state’s admitting privileges law while an appeal of an earlier order blocking the law’s implementation proceeds.

After Republican lawmakers rushed the bill through in late June, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and Affiliated Medical Services challenged it, arguing the law—which requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within a 30-mile radius of their clinic—violates constitutional due process rights, unconstitutionally treats doctors who perform abortions differently than doctors who perform other procedures, and puts an undue burden on the right to abortion.

U.S. District Judge William Conley blocked the law last week, ruling it is likely unconstitutional. On Tuesday, the state appealed that order to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. If the state’s request is granted, the trial on the merits of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and Affiliated Medical Services’ claims would be on hold until the appeals process, which could take several months, is fully resolved.

Attorneys for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and Affiliated Medical Services have until Wednesday to respond to the state’s request.

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