Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, Inc. is one of the plaintiffs behind a proposed class action lawsuit that challenges the state’s laws that determine, among other restrictions, which medical professionals are authorized to provide abortion services.
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, Inc. is one of the plaintiffs behind a proposed class action lawsuit that challenges the state’s laws that determine, among other restrictions, which medical professionals are authorized to provide abortion services. Arguing that Wisconsin law unconstitutionally imposes an “undue burden” on access to abortion services, the 56-page lawsuit, which names as defendants the state’s attorney general, secretary of the Department of Safety and Professional Services, and several medical officials, alleges there is no “legitimate, rational medical justification” to curtail abortion availability through what the case refers to as the access restrictions, physician-only restriction, and same-physician restriction.
The specific state law provisions with which the lawsuit takes issue include those that:
Allow only physicians to perform medication or surgical abortions, and bar advanced practice nurses who would otherwise be qualified to perform the procedures;
Require that the physician who prescribes an abortion-inducing drug for a medication abortion perform an examination of the patient at least 24 hours before she takes the drug; and
Require that the same physician who conducts the pre-medication examination be present “in the same room” as the woman when she takes the medication a day later.
Planned Parenthood and its four named co-plaintiffs argue that these “arbitrary” access restrictions are “medically unnecessary” and impose undue “medical, emotional, and financial” costs on women seeking abortions. Because of the state’s restrictions, the case goes on, there exist only four outpatient clinics located in three cities across Wisconsin, and women must incur costly travel expenses to gain access to safe medical procedures. The limited access, the suit argues, also causes significant delays that limit the procedures from which women can choose, or otherwise prevent them obtaining abortions altogether.