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Judge blocks US state’s new abortion law

July 9, 2013

MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) — A U.S. judge issued a temporary restraining order to block enforcement of a new Wisconsin law that bans doctors who lack admitting privileges at nearby hospitals from performing abortions. A number of states have or are pursuing similar laws as they seek more restrictions on abortions.

A lawsuit filed Friday by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and Affiliated Medical Services alleged the requirement would unconstitutionally restrict the availability of abortions in the state.

The restraining order will remain in place pending a fuller hearing July 17.

The judge said the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states must prove that restrictions on abortion rights must be reasonably aimed at preserving the mother’s health.

Attorneys told the judge that if the law wasn’t put on hold, dozens of women with abortions scheduled in the coming week would have had to cancel their appointments.

“This ruling is a step in the right direction for the women of Wisconsin who can now continue to make their own personal, private health care decisions,” Terry Huyck, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, said in a statement.

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Associated Press writer Scott Bauer contributed.

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