At the end of last week, Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed his bill requiring women to undergo a state-forced transvaginal ultrasound before being able to obtain an abortion. It was clear when Gov. Walker signed the bill (done in private and on Friday of a holiday week) that he didn’t want a lot of fanfare or public scrutiny of the bill.
Shortly after Gov. Walker signed into law his bill requiring women to be forced to have state-mandated transvaginal ultrasounds, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU filed suit to stop enactment of the bill, and earlier today a federal judge issued an injunction preventing at least part of Walker’s law from being enacted. In issuing the injunction, U.S. District Judge William M. Conley cited a “troubling lack of justification” for the provision of the law which would mandate that any doctors who perform abortions must have hospital admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic at which they would be performing an abortion.
“There will almost certainly be irreparable harm to those women who will be foreclosed from having an abortion in the next week either because of the undue burden of travel or the late stage of pregnancy, as well as facing increasing health risks caused by delay,” the judge wrote. “Since the state has failed to date to demonstrate any benefit to maternal health of imposing this restriction, there is no meaningful counterweight recognized by the United States Supreme Court to justify the act’s immediate enforcement.”
While it’s certainly unfortunate that the entire bill wasn’t blocked by an injunction, today’s news is still good news.