Doctors to seek admitting privileges in response to new abortion law

CREATED Jul. 31, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - A new law passed by the legislature this year could affect some clinics performing abortions by requiring them to be within 30 miles of a hospital with admitting privileges.

The validity of the law is currently being discussed in court, but some doctors from Wisconsin are preparing. Seven doctors who perform abortions are filing for hospital admitting privileges, according to 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," said Nicole Safar, policy director at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.

Four doctors at Planned Parenthood, and three doctors at Affiliated Medical Services, have filed the applications. The two companies, along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, are plaintiffs in the challenge against the new law.

The doctors argue that obtaining hospital admitting privileges is a lengthy process, and they can be denied based on things like religious affiliation. Both the The Wisconsin Medical Society and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have said the doctors need an emergency system for transport to a hospital, but should not be required to obtain hospital admitting privileges.

Planned Parenthood has three abortion clinics across Wisconsin, and Affiliated Medical Services has one in Milwaukee.

The section of the law has already been suspended twice, and the same judge will decide on Thursday whether the requirement should be suspended pending the outcome of a trial determining its constitutionality.