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Testimony begins in Wisconsin abortion trial

First Published      Last Updated May 27 2014 10:33 am

Madison, Wis. • Abortion providers are trying to persuade a federal judge that a Wisconsin law requiring them to have hospital admitting privileges is unnecessary.

Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services contend the law will force AMS's Milwaukee clinic to close because providers there lack such admitting privileges. State attorneys counter the law provides continuity of care if complications arise.

AMS clinic director Wendie Ashlock testified in a bench trial Tuesday that between 2010 and 2012 about 60 of the clinic's roughly 7,000 patients suffered complications and three were transferred to hospitals in 2012 and 2013. Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin medical director Kathy King testified complications are rare and emergency room doctors can treat the patients.

Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas have similar laws. Abortion clinics in Alabama have mounted a similar lawsuit.