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Federal judge blocks Wisconsin abortion law

A federal judge blocked [opinion, PDF] part of a new Wisconsin law [text, PDF] on Friday that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, extending a preliminary injunction as a case against the law proceeds to trial. Specifically, the law requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinics [WP report] and administer a mandatory ultrasound before a woman receives an abortion. US District Judge William Conley, presiding over the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin [official website], issued a stay on the law last month, remarking that any possible benefit is greatly outweighed by the burdens [Reuters report] resulting from the law's implementation. The American Civil Liberties Union [advocacy website], one of a number of litigants challenging the law, claims that, if upheld, the law would force half of the state's four clinics to close their doors. Trial is scheduled to begin on November 25.

Recently, other states have attempted to pass similar regulations regarding abortion clinics. This week North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory [official website] signed a bill [JURIST report] into law that requires abortion clinics to meet requirements similar to those for outpatient surgical centers. Earlier in July a judge for the US District Court for the Middle District of Alabama delayed enforcement [JURIST report] of an Alabama abortion law until March 2014. Also last month a judge for the US District Court for the District of North Dakota temporarily blocked [JURIST report] a North Dakota abortion law, calling it unconstitutional. Furthering a similar trend, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed [JURIST report] House Bill number 2, which enacts three new restrictions on the practice of abortion, into law.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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