MILWAUKEE (Reuters) – Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on Friday signed into law new abortion restrictions that opponents said could lead to the closing of two of the state’s four abortion clinics.
Walker’s office said in an emailed statement that he signed the law requiring women to undergo an ultrasound before they get an abortion. It also requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinics.
According to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and Affiliated Medical Services, which are the state’s two abortion providers, the law will force the closing of abortion clinics in Appleton and Milwaukee because doctors there do not have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
The two providers said on Friday they will file a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the law.
Wisconsin is the third state this week to move toward more restrictions on abortion after a Texas House committee and the North Carolina Senate both approved measures earlier in the week.
(Reporting By Brendan O’Brien; Editing by Greg McCune, Gary Hill)
Update, 6:22 p.m. EST: The ACLU and Planned Parenthood released a statement confirming they have filed a lawsuit to prevent the law from taking effect.
“This law will drastically limit a woman’s ability to obtain a safe and legal abortion in Wisconsin by imposing burdensome and medically unnecessary requirements on doctors that provide this essential care,” said Larry Dupuis, legal director for the ACLU Wisconsin state chapter. “This law was rammed through the legislature in a matter of days and now, with a stroke of his pen, the governor has put the very health and wellbeing of Wisconsin women and families at immediate risk.”
[Image: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) speaks after witnessing a signing memorandum of understanding of the commercial deals between U.S. and China at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing Monday, April 15, 2013. REUTERS/Andy Wong/Pool]