NEW INFORMATION: Judge says he's uncomfortable with abortion law

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A federal judge says he's concerned that a Wisconsin law that requires abortion providers to get hospital admitting privileges is inflexible.

U.S. District Judge William Conley made the remarks Friday as he wrapped up a week-long bench trial to gather information in a lawsuit challenging the mandate. Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services contend the requirement will force AMS's Milwaukee clinic to close because providers there can't get admitting privileges. They contend the closure would unconstitutionally restrict access to abortion in Wisconsin.

State attorneys counter the requirement will ensure better patient care.

Conley says he's troubled the law required providers to get privileges within three days of its enactment and could dampen clinic's efforts to recruit new providers.

He's not expected to issue a ruling for at least six weeks.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A former researcher is testifying that a Wisconsin law requiring abortion providers to obtain hospital admitting privileges will force women to travel hundreds of miles further for the procedures and could drive them to give up on an abortion.

Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services are challenging the law in federal court, saying the requirement would force AMS's Milwaukee clinic to close because providers there lack privileges and can't get them.

Stanley Henshaw is a former researcher at the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research institute. He testified during a bench trial Friday that AMS is the only Wisconsin clinic that performs abortions beyond 19 weeks of pregnancy.

Henshaw says if AMS closes, the nearest clinic that offers abortions beyond that point is 85 miles away from Milwaukee in Chicago.

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