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DOJ: Hold off on abortion law trial until appeals court rules on injunction

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - State lawyers asked a federal judge Thursday not to hold a trial on Wisconsin’s latest abortion law, until an appeals court decides whether to put the law in place until that trial.

Federal Judge William Conley is scheduled to hold a trial November 25th on the lawsuit from two abortion groups which seeks to strike down the new law requiring abortion doctors to have local hospital admitting privileges.

Judge Conley temporarily blocked enforcement of the law the day it took effect last month.

On Tuesday, the State Justice Department asked a federal appeals court in Chicago to put the law in place before the trial can be completed. Thursday, the state asked Judge Conley to delay the trial before the appeals court decides whether the law should stay blocked.

Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services filed suit against the measure, saying it’s unconstitutional to require abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges. The plaintiffs say it would close two clinics in Appleton and Milwaukee – and render another Milwaukee to half-capacity.

The state says the law is needed in case abortion procedures go wrong. The state also says it’s against the law for hospitals which take federal funds to reject admitting privileges based on religious beliefs.