Improve the health of the people of Wisconsin by supporting and strengthening physicians' ability to practice high-quality patient care in a changing environment.

Society participates in amicus brief

The Wisconsin Medical Society requested permission Wednesday to file an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin Inc. v. Van Hollen, et al., arguing that a requirement that physicians who perform abortions must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where the abortion is performed is an unjustified infringement on the patient-physician relationship.

The case is currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to decide whether an order by the U.S. District Court in Madison was properly granted. On August 2, the U.S. District Court temporarily suspended the enforcement of Section 1 of 2013 Wisconsin Act 37 – the admitting privileges requirement – pending a full trial on its constitutionality.

The brief, which was filed jointly with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, argues that the admitting privileges requirement “represents a direct infringement on the patient-physician relationship. By injecting non-evolving and ineffective government mandates into medical science, the law could harm the evolution of potentially beneficial standards while doing nothing to ensure patient safety.” A copy of the brief is on the Society’s website*.

The Society opposed then 2013 Assembly Bill 227 because the ability to provide high quality care should not be arbitrarily tied to geographic proximity to certain hospitals. The Society’s testimony is here.

While the admitting privileges portion of Act 37 is temporarily stayed, its other provisions, including a requirement that women seeking an abortion must first obtain an ultrasound and a description of the ultrasound, are still in effect. A complete copy of 2013 Wisconsin Act 37 is here.

*(Member log-in is required to access amicus briefs. Click here to access the log-in page. Additional member log-in information is here.)

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