Yeah! The 9 day from introduction to legislative passage, signed secretly into law during a holiday weekend by cowardly Governor Scott Walker has been partially blocked from implementation for 10 days by a judge.
After a hastily called hearing, a federal judge Monday put a 10-day freeze on a new state law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges.The 19 page opinion (warning: large pdf) can be found here.
In a 19-page opinion issued Monday evening, U.S. District Judge William M. Conley cited a "troubling lack of justification" for the law and said he would stay enforcement of the admissions provision until July 18, a day after a more deliberate courtroom hearing scheduled before him next week.
Sadly, the decision today (the first day the new law is in effect) doesn't change the now mandatory ultrasound requirement, however that might change at the hearing scheduled next week.
In court Monday afternoon, Pines (Lester Pines, lawyer for the plaintiffs) pointed to the Wisconsin Medical Society's opposition to the law, saying that key doctors' groups had publicly said that the law is not needed to protect women's health. The measure was intended to limit access to abortions, he argued.(information in italics was added by me)
"The state cannot show that there is a legitimate medical purpose for this," Pines said.
Pines cited a declaration in the case signed by Douglas Laube, a former chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Wisconsin and president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
"This requirement is medically unjustified and will have serious consequences for women's health in Wisconsin," Laube said in the declaration.
The lawsuit was jointly brought by Planned Parenthood and Affiated Medical Services after Scott Walker signed the rammed through bill in secret on Friday, in the middle of a holiday weekend. The secret signing with late afternoon announcement were successful in preventing much media cover or attention by Wisconsinites.The hastily brought lawsuit was primarily aimed at keeping clinics open. From introduction to passage, only 9 days passed since Republicans who control both houses of the legislature prevented debate in the State Senate and amendments in the Assembly (but allowed limited debate). The delay in signing was no doubt due to the search for a date to stealthily enact the law to avoid citizen outrage. It succeeded in doing that.
The clinics asked the court to immediately block the law, contending it violates the constitution's due process guarantee, puts an undue burden on a woman's right to choose abortion and unconstitutionally treats doctors who perform abortions differently than doctors who perform other procedures.
Lennington argued that northern Wisconsin residents could still receive abortions in Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago or the Twin Cities and that the additional drive wasn't an undue burden. But Conley brought him up short, noting the driving conditions that can prevail in wintry northern Wisconsin.
"You haven't driven those roads very often," he said.
However, it's now having legal scrutiny and that's good news.
And the judge sounds not too pleased with their new shiny law noting how quickly the law was moved from introduction to enactment and how NOT ONE MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL spoke in favor of the law while many spoke aganst it.
Thanks, all, for putting up with a diary that started with a paragraph and got edited while it was up. I couldn't wait to share the good news.
And even MORE GOOD NEWS here in Giles Goat Boys diary about a federal judge striking down the Walker/GOP permit nonsense. Great news for our Constitutional rights.
Update: Nice coverage of the anti-abortion shenanigans on Rev. Al(Starring: Governor Scott Ultrasound Walker):
Coverage also on The Last Word: