While it remains unenforceable, Planned Parenthood is calling for lawmakers to repeal a state law that requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to hear an appeal of a decision that struck down the rule, after finding a similar law from Texas was unconstitutional. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin attorney Mel Barnes said it should not be allowed to remain written in state law.
“Wisconsin’s law should reflect the full freedoms and person liberties of the U.S. Constitution,” Barnes argued in a call with reporters. “It’s time to undo the harmful laws that harm the doctor-patient relationship, and stop passing medically unnecessary restrictions.”
Democratic members of the Legislature echoed Planned Parenthood’s request on Thursday. However, past efforts to remove unenforceable abortion restrictions, such as a state law criminalizing the procedure, have failed to gain much traction at the Capitol.
In a statement, Senate Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) called the letter from Planned Parenthood and Democrat lawmakers nothing more than a publicity stunt. “Wisconsin statutes are revised to reflect court rulings on an ongoing basis, and Chapter 253.095 has already been modified to note a permanent injunction against the enforcement of this section. As such, Wisconsin law adheres to federal standards and a repeal of Act 37 is unnecessary.”
UDPATE: This story was updated to include a statement from Sen. Fitzgerald.