NEW INFORMATION: Judge tells abortion doctor to try for privileges

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A federal judge wants a Milwaukee abortion provider to renew efforts to obtain hospital admitting privileges as a possible resolution to a lawsuit alleging that a Wisconsin law requiring providers get such privileges is unconstitutional.

Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services argue the requirement will force AMS's Milwaukee clinic to close because the two providers there lack admitting privileges and can't get them.

One of the providers, Dennis Christensen, testified Thursday he has been trying to get privileges at two Milwaukee hospitals since last summer but hasn't secured them and he's uncertain why.

U.S. District Judge William Conley told Christensen to find out why the hospitals won't grant the privileges. He suggested if AMS can get privileges it could resolve the challenge short of striking down the requirement.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- An unusual courtroom discussion between three doctors in a federal trial dealing with Wisconsin's law requiring abortion providers to get hospital admitting privileges is off to a rocky start.

U.S. District Judge William Conley sparred Thursday morning with Dr. John Thorp, a University of North Carolina obstetrician called by state attorneys to help defend the law. Conley is pressing Thorp to quantify the risks from abortion, but Thorp is resisting.

Thorp says there are no reliable U.S. studies on maternal deaths from abortion.

Conley quips the discussion reminds him of Mark Twain's quote that there are lies, damn lies and statistics.

Thorp says he is "chilled" by the idea that a federal judge thinks he's lying.

Conley says he doesn't think Thorp is lying and didn't mean to imply that.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) --It looks like a literal battle of the experts is looming in a federal trial to determine if Wisconsin's law requiring abortion providers to get hospital admitting privileges is constitutional.

Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services allege the law will force AMS's Milwaukee clinic to close and place an undue burden on women seeking abortions. State attorneys counter the law ensures continuity of care.

U.S. District Judge William Conley is holding a bench trial this week to gather evidence ahead of a ruling. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals last year advised Conley to choose his own expert to testify because both sides' witnesses likely will be biased.

Conley's expert is scheduled to square off with the state and plaintiffs' experts in a debate in Conley's courtroom Thursday.

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