Planned Parenthood of WI v. Van Hollen, No. 13-2726 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
In 2013, the Governor of Wisconsin signed into law a statute that prohibits a doctor, under threat of heavy penalties, from performing an abortion unless he has admitting privileges at a hospital no more than 30 miles from the clinic in which the abortion is performed. Wis. Stat. 253.095(2). Planned Parenthood and others challenged the law under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The district court entered a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the law. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. The court noted that the seven doctors affected by the law had applied for, but after five months, had not been granted, admitting privileges; that all Wisconsin abortion clinics already have transfer agreements with local hospitals to facilitate transfer of clinic patients to the hospital emergency room. A hospital emergency room is obliged to admit and to treat a patient requiring emergency care even if the patient is uninsured, 42 U.S.C. 1395dd(b)(1). Had enforcement of the law, with its one-weekend deadline for compliance, not been stayed, two of the state’s four abortion clinics would have had to shut down and a third clinic would have lost the services of half its doctors.