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Walker Signs Abortion Bill, Federal Lawsuit Filed

Associated Press/NBC26 Staff

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Walker Signs Abortion Bill, Federal Lawsuit Filed

CREATED Jul. 5, 2013

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has signed a contentious Republican bill that would require women seeking an abortion to view an ultrasound of the fetus before the procedure and prohibit doctors from performing abortions unless they have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

The Republican-controlled Legislature passed the bill last month. It would require abortion providers to point out a fetus' features on the ultrasound and have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles to perform the procedure.

Planned Parenthood contends the language is designed to shut down its Appleton clinic. 

“These requirements jeopardize women's health by limiting access to safe high-quality healthcare,” said Teri Huyck, the President of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. “When abortion is inaccessible women's health suffers and women die.”

None of the providers there have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles. The organization has vowed to sue to block the law.

“They should be very wary about going into a Planed Parenthood clinic if their physicians are incapable of getting admitting privileges,” Sue Armacost, the Legislative Director for Wisconsin Right to Life. 

Armacost said this bill is ensuring safety for women, if a hospital admission is required. 

“She goes to the hospital alone and the doctors have to figure out what’s wrong with her.,” said Armacost.

But Huyck states there have been no hospital admissions from the Appleton clinic in the last 35 years.

When the Appleton clinic closes, women will have to drive to Madison or Milwaukee for an abortion. 

As for the ultrasound requirement pregnancies that are the result of a sexual assault or incest are excluded from this legislation. 

NBC26 contacted Gov. Walker’s Office for comment about signing this bill. His Press Secretary, Tom Evanson said, "This bill improves a woman's ability to make an informed choice that will protect her physical and mental health now and in the future."