Home / News / Expresso / Issue of the Week: Texas’s Abortion Law Is Unconstitutional. Is Wisconsin’s, Too?
Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013

Issue of the Week: Texas’s Abortion Law Is Unconstitutional. Is Wisconsin’s, Too?

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On Monday, a federal judge struck down one of Texas’ stringent new restrictions on abortion, saying that it’s unconstitutional to require an abortion provider to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of his or her clinic.

The judge found that the requirement, signed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry after a filibuster by state Sen. Wendy Davis, was an undue obstacle to women who want to have an abortion, since it would have shuttered more than a dozen abortion clinics in Texas on Tuesday, when the law had been scheduled to go into effect.

Wisconsinites should take note, since Republican Gov. Scott Walker quietly signed a fast-tracked bill into law with the same requirement during the Fourth of July weekend.

A federal judge put that law on hold here too, since it would leave Wisconsin without any abortion providers north of Madison and Milwaukee. And there’s no real medical reason why admitting privileges are necessary—even if a hospital would grant them.

The Wisconsin and Texas regulations are part of a national wave of what’s known as Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider (TRAP) laws, which aim to make abortion regulations so stringent that the procedure is impossible to perform. Instead of finding a way to get the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the pro-life movement is trying to regulate it out of existence on a state-by-state basis.

But the fact is that abortion is a safe procedure and the decision to have one—or not—should not be made by politicians or well-financed lobbyists in Madison or any other state capital. The settled law on the issue affirms that it’s a woman’s right to make this decision. Scott Walker and Rick Perry should stay out of it.

Wisconsin’s law is scheduled to come before federal Judge William Conley in late November. Here’s hoping that Conley will realize that if the U.S. Constitution protects women in Texas, it should protect women in Wisconsin, too.

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