A federal appeals court in Chicago says a Wisconsin law requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital is unconstitutional.
In a two-to-one vote, a three-judge panel on Monday affirmed a lower court ruling that struck down the 2013 law passed by Republicans. In the decision, Judge Richard Posner wrote that Republican claims of any medical benefits are “nonexistent,” and said it could actually endanger the safety of some patients by extending wait times for abortions.
Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services, which challenged the law, argued it’s only meant to put obstacles in front of women seeking abortions. The groups said it could force at least one clinic in Milwaukee to close, because there is no hospital within 30 miles that would grant admitting privileges to its doctors.
A spokeswoman for the state Department of Justice said the issue will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, which recently agreed to hear a challenge to a similar law out of Texas. The DOJ does plan to seek review for Wisconsin’s case as well.