The nation's highest court on Monday turned down Wisconsin's bid to reinstate a state law requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, leaving the rule blocked for now amid an ongoing legal challenge.The law was challenged in Federal Court and is currently under injunction.
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal by state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, who wanted the justices to put the state law back into effect while lower courts consider the law's ultimate fate.
U.S. District Judge William Conley put the law on ice last summer while he considers a final ruling and a federal appeals court in Chicago upheld Conley's initial injunction of the law. In refusing without comment to hear Van Hollen's appeal Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court left in place the initial rulings by Conley and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.While Conley has yet to rule on the case, it is widely expected he will rule in favor of overturning the law and this is the reason JB Van Hollen appealed to the US Supreme Court.
In the case, which concluded May 30, doctors providing services submitted letters from hospitals rejecting their requests for admitting privileges mostly because they wouldn't admit the number of patients required. Hospitals normally require physicians with admitting privileges to admit a certain number of patients each year and with complications of abortions being rare, those minimum admission rates would never be met by doctors performing abortion.
The law requiring hospital admitting privileges only applies to abortion providers. Those providing outpatient surgery, oral surgery, or other outpatient procedures are not required to have admitting privileges.
The other laws which remain in effect include a waiting period before abortion services can be provided and the requirement for an unnecessary, but mandatory ultrasound. The cost of court challenges makes it impossible to challenge all the barriers that Republicans hastily erected in 2013.
Republicans in the Wisconsin State Legislature previously eliminated funding to Planned Parenthood clinics which leaves uninsured women without access to basic health services and birth control. I really don't understand why abortion-hating Republicans aren't in favor of funding the means to ensure that unplanned pregnancies don't happen. (Yeah, actually, I do. It's because they want to control lady parts to exert their own control over women.)
Judge Conley's final decision is expected soon. Until then, the law remains under injunction.